Yorkshire Wildlife Park

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Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Yorkshire Wildlife Park Waterfall.jpg
Yorkshire Wildlife Park
Date opened 4th 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, Project Polar
Website www.yorkshirewildlifepark.com

The Yorkshire Wildlife Park, commonly referred to as YWP, 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. The park prides itself on being 'The UK's Number 1 Walkthrough Wildlife Adventure'.[5]

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).


Road leading to the park

The Yorkshire Wildlife Park was built on land formerly occupied by the 260-acre (110 ha) Brockholes Farm Visitor Centre, and currently occupies about 100 acres (40 ha) of the site.[1][6]

Cheryl and Neville Williams and business partner John Minion purchased the site in 2008[7] 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)[8] on 4 April 2009.[6]

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.[9]

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) long raised walkway, with the tiger enclosure on one side of the walkway and the wetlands on the other.[10]

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.[11]

In July 2014, the park opened a large enclosure for polar bears, named Project Polar, with the first bear being 500 kg male Victor; a second arrived in March 2015 called Pixel, who is Victor's grandson.

On 15 April 2015, Yorkshire Wildlife Park announced that one of its Amur tigers had given birth to three cubs on 29 March 2015.[12] A video of the birth was released on the park's official Facebook and Twitter page.

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 ring-tailed and black-and-white ruffed lemurs.

African Plains[edit]

African Plains is a paddock displaying African grazing animals such as Grevy's zebras, Ankole cattle, ostriches, Rothschild's giraffes, lechwe, and common eland. In 2016, the park announced a £3.6 million expansion of the African Plains exhibit, which will include an enclosure for black rhinoceros.[13]

Land of the Tigers[edit]

Land of the Tigers houses six Amur tigers: three adults, named Sayan, Vladimir, and Tschuna; and three cubs, called Hector, Harley, and Hope. 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 four male polar bears named Victor, Pixel, Nissan, and Nobby. These are the only polar bears in an English zoo. The enclosure is ten acres in size and features two pools, the largest of which is eight metres deep and contains 25.5 million gallons of water.

South America Viva[edit]

South America Viva is a walk-through enclosure displaying several South American species, including Patagonian mara, common squirrel monkeys, Azara's agouti, common rhea and capybara. There are also separate enclosures housing six-banded armadillo, South American coati, giant anteaters, common marmosets and giant otters, which are situated near a South America-themed restaurant called "iCaramba!".

Baboon Reserve[edit]

Yorkshire Wildlife Park - Baboon Reserve

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

Leopard Heights[edit]

Leopard Heights houses four Amur leopards: two adults, named Drake and Freya; and their two cubs born in June 2015. The enclosure is 6000 square metres in size, features climbing frames up to ten metres tall, and cost £300,000 to build.[14]

Other animals[edit]

Other notable animals in the park's collection include Bennett's wallabies, African wild dogs, sitatunga, red river hogs, Bactrian camels, addax, 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 its 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. ^ "Website Claim". yorkshirewildlifepark. Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  6. ^ a b "Yorkshire Wildlife Park". BBC News Online. BBC. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "New wildlife park for Doncaster". www.investindoncaster.co.uk. Invest in Doncaster. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "Justin Fletcher - Declares the Yorkshire Wildlife Park open" (YouTube video). YWPL (Yorkshire Wildlife Park). 4 April 2009. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  9. ^ Dilger, Mike (19 February 2010). "Yorkshire Wildlife Park". BBC News Online. BBC. Retrieved 13 May 2012. 
  10. ^ "Land of the Tigers". www.landofthetigers.co.uk. Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Archived from the original on 18 June 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  11. ^ "Yorkshire Wildlife Park officially unveils Leopard Heights". Thorne and District Gazette. 28 March 2012. Retrieved 12 May 2012. 
  12. ^ "Remarkable footage of endangered tiger cubs born at Yorkshire Wildlife Park". Doncaster Free Press. 15 April 2015. Retrieved 3 May 2015. 
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 4 March 2016. 
  14. ^ https://yorkshirewildlifepark.com/animals/leopard-heights/

External links[edit]