Swedish bear arrives at Devon wildlife park via Eurotunnel following life-saving rescue

Diego was the last surviving bear at a zoo in Sweden. Credit: Wildwood Trust

A brown bear, that was due to be killed in Sweden, has arrived at a wildlife park in the UK.

Wildwood Trust said Diego, the last surviving bear at a Sweden zoo, arrived at Wildwood Devon, near Exeter on the evening of 2 November.

He travelled to the UK via Eurotunnel, after plans to bring him over by ferry were amended in light of Storm Ciaran, the trust said.

The trust added the bear was "facing certain euthanasia," as Sweden's Orsa Predator Park is closing and staff were told to kill any animals left behind.

Mark Habben, Wildwood Trust's Director of Zoo Operations said they were "really excited" to be able to save Diego's life.

Mark Habben said Diego will stay at Wildwood Trust over winter. Credit: Wildwood Trust

Diego is expected to go into torpor over the winter — a natural bear behaviour in which bears sleep deeply for weeks or months with only short periods of activity in between.

Mr Habben added: "Diego's zoological home is closing down and he had no other options. We are delighted to be able to hold this bear for the duration of his torpor."

Diego will stay at Wildwood Devon for the duration of the winter before moving to Jimmy's Farm and Wildlife Park, in Ipswich, Suffolk.

Wildwood Trust said the park became aware of Diego's situation while rescuing two polar bears from the Swedish zoo.

Jimmy Doherty, founder of Jimmy's Farm and Wildlife Park, said Wildwood's help will enable them to complete "essential work" on Diego's enclosure.

"Wildwood Trust are experts in their field, so I am delighted Diego will spend his torpor there over the winter period. It is a great environment for him," he added.