Yorkshire Wildlife Park announces the country’s oldest polar bear has died

Credit: Yorkshire Wildlife Park

Yorkshire Wildlife Park has announced that Victor, the countries oldest Polar Bear, has died aged 22.

He was taken ill on Friday (21 August) and despite the best efforts of the veterinary team, he was diagnosed with terminal kidney failure and vets had no choice but to put him to sleep.

He was born at Rostock Zoo in Germany, before moving to Rhenen in the Netherlands. After retiring from the European breeding programme he was rehomed in Doncaster in 2014.

Credit: Yorkshire Wildlife Park

During his time in the breeding programme he fathered 13 cubs and has many grandchildren around the world.

Upon retirement at the park, Victor spent his days enjoying the lakes and expansive habitat. He was joined by four other polar bears over the following five years.

The Yorkshire Wildlife Park wrote a statement announcing the news on their Facebook feed.

"Victor has left a huge paw print on many peoples hearts and played a huge role in the European Breeding Programme.

"He was father to 13 cubs and has many grandchildren around the world so his legacy will live on for years to come.

"The Directors of Yorkshire Wildlife Park would like to thank the veterinary team from  Portland House Veterinary Group who responded so quickly and who have worked and supported staff In caring for Victor since he arrived in Yorkshire.

"The Park would also like to thank the dedicated staff team who have loved and cared for Victor since his arrival and who today are saddened by the loss of one who was a favourite at the park for staff and visitors alike.

"Victor was a great ambassador for his species, inspiring generations and drawing attention to the plight of his species in the wild and the threat of climate change. He will be greatly missed by everyone."