By WAN – June 11, 2018
Photos from Yorkshire Wildlife Park
WAN is thrilled to share that the only living polar bear in South Korea is being relocated later this year from the Everland Zoo, to the world-class facilities of Yorkshire Wildlife Park (YWP) in Doncaster, United Kingdom.
Tongki, 24, will be re-homed at YWP’s award-winning Project Polar, an international center for the conservation and rehabilitation of polar bears both in captivity and in the wild, which is especially important as Polar Bears are increasingly threatened by global warming.
YWP staff and vets have already visited Tongki and performed health checks to check if he is fit to travel the 5,500 miles from Korea to Yorkshire this November.
“We are delighted to accept Tongki and give him a wonderful retirement in the ten-acre reserves here at YWP,” John Minion, CEO of the park said in a statement. “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.”
Tongki was born in a zoo in Masan, Gyeongsangnam, and relocated to Everland in 1997.
Reaching the age of 70-80 in human years, the retired polar bear is ready to enjoy a comfortable life alongside current residents of Project Polar, Victor, Pixel, Nissan and Nobby, who can often be spotted roaming in Project Polar, which includes dens, pools, lakes in a rolling landscape, and is designed to reflect the habitat of the summer Arctic tundra.
Working in association with Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation (YWPF), which was created in 2013 to be a dynamic catalyst for inspiring people to support conservation and welfare, and Polar Bears International (PBI), Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s Project Polar is YWP and YWPF’s flagship project. It combines all three key objectives, conservation, welfare and education, working towards saving and improving the welfare of one of the most iconic species, the polar bear.
YWP welcomes 750,000 visitors annually who enjoy the spacious reserves and walkthrough animal areas. In addition to the polar bears, YWP is also home to some of the most endangered and beautiful animals on the planet, including Amur Leopards, Amur Tigers, Giant Otters, Grevy’s Zebra, and the latest addition, the rare Okapi.
Since opening in 2009, YWP has become the UK’s fastest growing and most innovative wildlife sanctuary, combining conservation, welfare and education all in one.