HMP Doncaster

Inspectors slam South Yorks prison

Privately-run Doncaster Prison has been criticised for locking up inmates in cells without electricity or running water.

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Victor's keeper: Seeing him for the first time was 'tearful'

Victor the polar bear, has had a warm welcome as he settles into his new home at the Yorkshire's wildlife park. The 15-year old, who's the only captive polar bear in England, stepped out into his specially built 10 acre enclosure for the first time this morning. Julie James, Victor's keeper said seeing him for the first time was emotional.


Top ten polar bear facts

As Yorkshire Wildlife Park becomes home to Britain's first captive polar bear, here are some facts you may not know about the animal:

Polar bear cubs are born in 'snow caves'
Polar bear cubs are born in 'snow caves' Credit: Marc MÃŒller/DPA/Press Association Images
  • Hunting is not the biggest threat to polar bears - climate change is.
  • They actually have black skin and colourless hairs. Their thick, hollow hairs reflect light to give its white-looking coat.
  • Polar bears often get hot and will roll in the snow to cool off.
  • They are excellent swimmer
  • They have a great sense of smell and can detect seals one kilometre away
  • Polar bear cubs weight the same as guinea pigs
  • The largest polar bear ever recorded was a male weighing 2,209 pounds.
  • Polar bears live an average 15 to 18 years in the wild. In captivity, they may live until their mid-to late 30s.
  • Polar bears do not hibernate, though pregnant females dig snow dens to give birth and emerge three months later
  • Polar bear cubs are born between November or December in snow caves called maternity dens.

Read: Polar bear Victor settles in at new Yorkshire home

Polar bear Victor has settled in 'well' to new home

Victor seems to have settled in well, says his keeper Julie James
Victor seems to have settled in well, says his keeper Julie James Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Polar bear Victor has 'settled in well' to his new home at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, according to his keeper. Julie James said the Park is 'proud and delighted' to have him. Victor , who is Britain's only captive polar bear, arrived on Thursday after making the trip from Holland to Doncaster by ferry.


Gay Pride returns to its former home

Thousands of people flocked to Doncaster's town centre today as this year's gay pride returns to its former home.

Doncaster hosts Gay Pride
Gay Pride returns to its former home Credit: ITV Yorkshire

The Sir Nigel Gresley Square was a wash with colour for the annual event.

For the past three years the celebration has been held at the Keepmoat stadium.

Organisers say the move means more people will be able to enjoy the festivities.

Damning report on Doncaster Prison

A privately-run prison with more than a thousand inmates in South Yorkshire is in decline, with high levels of violence and significant drug use within it's walls.

Those are the findings of inspectors who made a surprise visit to Doncaster Prison just a week after a large scale disturbance that wrecked a wing of the jail.

It has now led to calls for the prison to be handed back to the public sector. David Hirst reports.

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