Yorkshire Wildlife Park

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Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Date opened 4 April 2009
Location Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England
Coordinates 53°30′17″N 1°02′30″W / 53.5047°N 1.0417°W / 53.5047; -1.0417Coordinates: 53°30′17″N 1°02′30″W / 53.5047°N 1.0417°W / 53.5047; -1.0417
Land area 260 acres (110 ha)[1]
Annual visitors 323,000 (2011)[2]
Memberships BIAZA,[3] EAZA[4]
Major exhibits Lion Country, Land of the Tiger, Leopard Heights
Website www.yorkshirewildlifepark.co.uk

The Yorkshire Wildlife Park is a wildlife park located just outside Doncaster, South Yorkshire, in England. It was built on the site of Brockholes Farm Visitor Centre, which closed to the public in November 2008.

Yorkshire Wildlife Park is a member of the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) and the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA).


The Yorkshire Wildlife Park was built on land formerly occupied by the 260-acre (110 ha) Brockholes Farm Visitor Centre, and occupies about 70 acres (28 ha) of the site.[1][5]

Cheryl and Neville Williams (experienced zookeepers from Woburn Safari Park) and business partner John Minion purchased the site in 2008[6] with funding from Lloyds TSB Commercial, private investment, and a Yorkshire Forward grant. The site was renovated over the 2008-2009 winter, and officially opened by Justin Fletcher, MBE (also known as Mr Tumble from CBeebies)[7] on 4 April 2009.[5]

In February 2010, the park rescued 13 lions from a Romanian zoo and, after their quarantine period, released them into the newly built 10-acre (4.0 ha) Lion Country enclosure.[8]

In 2011, the zoo opened Land of the Tigers, which contains two pools and a waterfall and was created next to a wetland reserve. Visitors view the tigers from a 150-metre (490 ft) raised walkway, with the tiger enclosure on one side of the walkway and the wetlands on the other.[9]

In March 2012 the park opened Leopard Heights, a £300,000 open-topped enclosure that lets visitors view the Amur leopards from an 8-metre (26 ft) viewing tower or from ground level through a 10-metre (33 ft) long glass wall. The 6,000-square-metre (65,000 sq ft) enclosure is claimed to be the largest leopard enclosure in the world.[10]

In July 2014, the park opened a large enclosure for polar bears, with the first bear being 500kg male Viktor.

The park has become a popular attraction in its first few years, starting in 2009 with only 66,000 visitors, it hosted 323,000 in 2011.[2]

Animals and exhibits[edit]

Lion Country[edit]

Lion Country was opened in May 2010, and houses a pride of thirteen African lions, all of which came from Oradea Zoological Garden in Romania. The lions were kept in small enclosures and poor living conditions at the Romanian zoo, which could not adequately care for them, and Yorkshire Wildlife Park acquired the lions in February 2010.

Lemur Woods[edit]

Lemur Woods is a walk-through enclosure housing groups of brown, ring-tailed and black-and-white ruffed lemurs.

African Plains[edit]

African Plains is a large paddock displaying African grazing animals such as Chapman's zebras, Ankole cattle, ostriches, lechwe and common eland.

Land of the Tigers[edit]

Land of the Tigers houses three Siberian tigers, named Sayan, Vladimir and Tschuna. The enclosure features two pools and a waterfall, as well as a 150 metre walkway for visitors.

Project Polar Reserve[edit]

Opened in August 2014, Project Polar Reserve houses a single male polar bear named Victor, the only polar bear in an English zoo.

South America Viva[edit]

South America Viva is a walk-through enclosure displaying several South American species, including mara, squirrel monkeys and capybara. There are also separate enclosures housing giant anteaters and common marmosets, which are situated near an South America-themed restaurant called "I Caramba!".

Baboon Reserve[edit]

Opened in Easter 2013, the Baboon reserve houses a troop of Guinea baboons which came from Edinburgh Zoo.

Other Animals[edit]

Other notable animals in the park's collection include Amur leopards, Bennett's wallabies, African wild dogs, sitatunga, red river hogs, Bactrian camels, addax, Rothschild's giraffes, flamingos, meerkats and yellow mongooses.


  1. ^ a b "Yorkshire Wildlife Park, near Doncaster". www.yorkshireattractions.org. Yorkshire's Magnificent Attractions. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Mayors visit award winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park on it's 3rd birthday after record year". www.yorkshireattractions.org. Yorkshire's Magnificent Attractions. 19 April 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  3. ^ "BIAZA Zoos and Aquariums". biaza.org.uk. BIAZA. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "EAZA Member Zoos & Aquariums". eaza.net. EAZA. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Yorkshire Wildlife Park". BBC News Online. BBC. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "New wildlife park for Doncaster". www.investindoncaster.co.uk. Invest in Doncaster. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Justin Fletcher - Declares the Yorkshire Wildlife Park open" (YouTube video). YWPL (Yorkshire Wildlife Park). 4 April 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Dilger, Mike (19 February 2010). "Yorkshire Wildlife Park". BBC News Online. BBC. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Land of the Tigers". www.landofthetigers.co.uk. Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Yorkshire Wildlife Park officially unveils Leopard Heights". Thorne and District Gazette. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 

External links[edit]