As Doncaster basks in the sunshine, Yorkshire Wildlife Park resident Pixel the polar bear is keeping cool with an unorthodox sun hat.
The two-year-old entertained visitors to the award-winning park by playing with the plastic bucket and transforming it into the latest must-have summer accessory.
Pixel paraded in it before throwing it into a pool and diving in after it as he frolicked at the park.
The amazing pictures were captured at the walk through park’s Project Polar, which is home to Pixel and 16-year-old Victor and a major part of the European conservation and welfare programme for these amazing animals.
“Pixel is always full of fun and is a naturally inquisitive polar bear so he wanted to try out the plastic container,” said Cheryl Williams,CEO of the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation .
She continued: “He wore it as a hat, played football with it and even went swimming with it. Visitors are captivated by him and Victor.
“They may be having a lot of fun but there is a serious side to our work with polar bears who are facing a very different future in the wild as they are threatened by disappearing habitat in the wild – the sea ice.”
The park is supporting Arctic Sea Ice Day this Saturday, which aims to highlight the environmental damage caused by greenhouse gases.
The charity, the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation has strong links with the Polar Bear International charity, which launched the Save Our Sea Ice campaign.
The park’s polar bear work has been recognised as an important contribution to the species’ conservation.
“The ice is disappearing very quickly but we can do something about it. At YWP, we are committed to polar bear conservation and welfare and the future of Arctic Sea Ice is crucial to their survival. It is the opposite of most conservation crises where a threat is very local to the animals, the polar bears’ future depends on the rest of the world cutting emissions and halting the decline of the ice. “ added Mrs Williams.
“Pixel and Victor will continue to have fun but it is important to recognise that these wonderful animals are at risk and their numbers are dwindling.”
Amur leopards, giraffes, lions, lemurs, meerkats and many more all call the Branton-based park home.
The park’s newest arrivals are three Amur Tiger cubs, born on March 29 and a significant step forward in the conservation of the species.
They can be seen at Land of the Tiger with their mother, Tschuna.