photo credit: Screenshot from YouTube video / Yorkshire Wildlife Park
A group of migrants in Calais, France, hopped onto the back of a lorry bound for the U.K. and stumbled upon some unusual cargo – a polar bear. Needless to say, the group was surprised to see Nissan, a 22-month-old male polar bear, but nevertheless stayed inside the vehicle. The truck, bound for Yorkshire Wildlife Park, was in the middle of slow-moving traffic when the group climbed aboard. French police were alerted to the migrants presence and they were asked to vacate the truck. Strict regulations govern the transportation of animals and all regulations were reported to have been followed.
Simon Marsh, an animal collections manager at the park, reported that Nissan’s 3,000-kilometer (1,864-mile) journey from Moscow to Doncaster (where the park is located) went according to plan – aside from the minor incident with the migrants. “There was a slight hiccup at Calais. Nissan has some unexpected guests in the back of the lorry,” he said.“Obviously he was in a crate, so it was all very safe and secure, but I think they were a bit surprised when they saw a polar bear.”
Nissan was born at Russia’s Izhevsk Zoo in December 2013, and was being transferred to the U.K. as part of a breeding program. The staff in Yorkshire are preparing to introduce him to the park’s two other polar bears, Victor (16 years old) and Pixel (2 years old). All three bears will be introduced to the park’s new 10-acre Project Polar Bear reserve, which replaces the current Arctic habitat.