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Yorkshire Wildlife Park ready to welcome Korean polar bear

Yorkshire Wildlife Park has been busy preparing for the arrival of a polar bear who is relocating to the world class facility from Korea in November.

Tongki, 24, will be re-homed at YWP’s award-winning Project Polar, one of the biggest polar bear reserves in the world featuring dens, pools and lakes in a rolling landscape designed to reflect the habitat of the summer Arctic tundra.

Reaching the grand age of 70-80 in human age, the retired bear is ready to enjoy a comfortable life alongside current Project Polar residents Victor, Pixel, Nissan and Nobby.

Tongki currently lives at the Everland Zoo in Korea, but will be flown the 5,500 miles to his new retirement home at YWP, which puts animal welfare and conservation at the heart of all its activities.

YWP staff and vets have already visited Tongki and performed health checks to make sure he is fit to travel from Korea to Yorkshire and will consult Everland over the upcoming months to prepare Tongki for his journey.

John Minion, CEO at the park at Branton, near Doncaster said: “We are delighted to accept Tongki and give him a wonderful retirement in the ten acre reserves here at YWP.

“Our top priority is to keep him healthy and happy. The journey from Korea will be long, but we have plans in place to make it a smooth and comfortable transition.

“We can’t wait to see him enjoying space here and diving into the deep lakes.”

Vet Dr. Jonathan Cracknell added: “We have spent time at Everland assessing Tongki for the journey and he is in very good health for a bear of his age and has routinely received good health care.”

A spokesperson from Everland said: “We are delighted Tongki will be able to enjoy a comfortable retirement in his new home at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. The rolling terrain, lakes and four new Polar friends are sure to keep him busy.”

The park’s charity, the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation raises funds for polar bears, works with Polar Bears International to help bears in the wild and with the IUCN Specialist Climate Change group as climate change. Polar bears are threatened by global warming reducing their Arctic hunting and breeding.

In addition to the polar bears, YWP is also home to some of the most endangered and beautiful animals on the planet, including, Amur Leopard and Amur Tigers, Giant Otters Grevy’s Zebra and the latest addition the rare forest giraffe the Okapi and many more.

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