First polar bear cub born in UK in 25 years moves to Yorkshire

Hamish the polar bear in a cage
Hamish settles into his new home

The first polar bear cub to be born in the UK in 25 years has been moved from his birthplace in Scotland to Yorkshire Wildlife Park.

ITV Calendar was given a behind-the-scenes look at the complex operation to bring Hamish to his new home while at the same time moving two other bears - Nissan and Pixel - from Yorkshire to France. 

Calendar captures the moment Hamish makes his arrival in Yorkshire

The moves were recommended by a European breeding programme. The EAZA Ex situ Programme (EEP) aims at conserving healthy populations of animals in captivity.

The European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) says the acquisition of new animals and the regular exchange of animals between its member zoos and animal parks is essential when realising healthy, demographically and genetically sustainable, populations.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park specialises in housing males during the important period of their development prior to becoming breeding males or retired males that are genetically well represented.So while two-and-a-half year old Hamish is the new bachelor in Yorkshire, Nissan will become a breeding male in France and Pixel will join him to keep him company when he is not with the female bears there.

The arrival of Hamish in Doncaster follows the introduction of another polar bear, Rasputin who came to the park from the south of France in January. But as his genetics are the most important in the breeding programme, he too is likely to be moving on from Yorkshire soon.

Hamish's transfer to Yorkshire Wildlife Park was a high-pressure operation but passed off smoothly. Once out of the transportation crate, he was very inquisitive of his new surroundings and of Nobby -  another young bear who he will now share his new home with.

See Emma Wilkinson's report on Hamish's journey to Yorkshire