The country’s oldest and most popular polar bear at Yorkshire Wildlife Park has sadly died.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park announces with deep sadness today that Victor, the country’s oldest and most popular polar bear, has died.

Despite the best efforts of the veterinary team who attended when 22-year-old Victor unexpectedly took ill earlier today, Victor sadly suffered terminal kidney failure and vets had no choice but to put him to sleep.  

Victor was born at Rostock Zoo, Germany before moving to Rhenen in the Netherlands but after retiring from the European breeding programme he was rehomed at YWP in 2014. 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 in Project Polar, one of the largest reserves in the world. He was joined by four other polar bears over the following five years. 

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 at 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.