Polar bears play with ice cubes as rangers replicate Arctic conditions

Four polar bears have been captured playing gleefully with piles of ice cubes as milder temperatures arrive at their South Yorkshire home.

With no snowy weather on the horizon, rangers at Yorkshire Wildlife Park have done their best to replicate Arctic conditions by letting Nobby, Nissan, Pixel and Victor play on the “mountains” of ice.

Adorable footage shows the four polar bears frolicking as the cubes slowly melt around them.

Workers at the park in Branton, near Doncaster, spent almost two hours unloading the five tons of ice, which was donated by The Ice Co on Tuesday.

Carnivore team leader Kim Wilkins, said: “Our polar bears absolutely loved playing around in the ice.”

She added: “It’s such an amazing idea and great for our animals to be able to play with the ice now the snow days seem to be over.

“Polar bears do not need ice and snow all year round.

“In the wild during the Arctic summer they may spend five to six months in an ice-free environment.”

Four polar bears at Yorkshire Wildlife Park have been pictured playing with mountains of ice cubes (Yorkshire Wildlife Park/PA)

A spokesman for The Ice Co, which is based in South Kirkby, Wakefield, revealed the ice was donated after a member of team suggested the animals might like to play with it.

The four bears reside in the park’s specially-built 10-acre Project Polar reserve, with the youngest, Nissan and Nobby, arriving in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

The premises boasts pools, caves and rolling terrain that is designed to replicate their Arctic habitat.

The all-male group are part of a project to help save and improve the welfare of the vulnerable species.

- Press Association

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