Spectacled bear in Chester Zoo, UK (Nigel Swales –CC BY-SA 2.0)

The following is a list of all known captive bears in the United Kingdom (for further information please see the end of the list):

American black bear:

  • Woburn Safari Park – 7 bears: 3 males and 4 females.  Male Koda and female Georgia were born at the park early in 2020.  13 acre enclosure which is shared with two timber wolves.

TOTAL FOR SPECIES: 7 bears (3 males and 4 females)

Andean (spectacled) bear:

  • Chester Zoo – 4 bears: 1 adult male (Bernard or “Bernie”) and 1 adult female (Lima).  In January 2020 twin cubs were born to Lima in the Zoo.  Pacha (female) and Mateo (male).
  • Jersey Zoo, Trinity, Jersey – 2 bears: 1 male (Quechua or “Chiu”) and 1 female (Bahia). 
  • Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, Wraxall, Bristol – 2 bears: 1 male (Rasu – born in Zurich Zoo) and 1 female (Madidi).  Both bears arrived in 2019 and were born in 2017. Madidi was born in Chester Zoo in 2017; Bernard and Lima (still at Chester) are her parents.  The bears occupy a two acre landscaped and enriched habitat created in 2016.
  • Port Lympne Reserve, Lympne, Hythe, Kent – 2 bears: 1 male (Oberon) and 1 female (Rina).
  • South Lakes Safari Zoo, Lindal in Furness, Ulverston, Cumbria – 2 bears, both females (Zepita and Mona).  The Zoo’s male bear, Snoopy died in August 2019. He was born on 12 January 1996 in Tierpark, Berlin.  Zepita was born 24 December 1999 in Zurich Zoo and Mona 17 December 1999 in Paris Zoo.

TOTAL FOR SPECIES:  14 bears (6 males and  8 females)

Asiatic black bear:

  • Wingham Wildlife Park, Wingham, Kent – 3 bears: 2 males (Aroon and Baloo) and 1 female (Mika).  Baloo was born at the Park in February 2020; Mika and Aroon are his parents.

TOTAL FOR SPECIES: 3 bears (2 males and 1 female)

Brown bear (Eurasian [European] brown bear):

  • Camperdown Wildlife Centre, Dundee – 3 bears: 1 male (Brumm) and 2 females (Brumma and Maja).  All three are siblings.
  • Five Sisters Zoo Park, Polbeth, West Lothian – 1 bears: female.  Eso was rescued from a roadside restaurant in Albania.
  • Heythrop Zoo (aka “Amazing Animals), Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire – Heythrop Zoo is a private animal training centre not usually open to the general public although there are occasional open days. Amazing Animals exhibited three European brown bear cubs at an Oxfordshire show in 2014 and it is believed that two of these bears are now at Wolds Wildlife Park, see below.  Reports indicate that no bears remain at the zoo.
  • Scottish Deer Centre, Cupar, Fife – 2 bears: 1 male (Loki) and 1 female (Nelly).
  • Welsh Mountain Zoo, Colwyn Bay, Conwy – 2 bears, both female.  They are siblings.
  • Wild Place Project, Bristol Zoo – 4 bears: 3 males (Albie, Neo and Nilas) and 1 female (Gemini). Neo and Nilas are twins, born in captivity in Järvzoo, Sweden on 17 January 2017.  Albie and Gemini are also twins, born in captivity in Skånes Djurpark, Sweden on 13 January 2018.  Total area of site 7.5 acres with plans to integrate wolves and the bears in the same woodland enclosure.
  • Wildwood Escot, Ottery St. Mary, Devon – two bears, Mish (male) and Lucy (female).  Apparently abandoned by their mother when she fled from poachers or illegal loggers, in a snow drift in the mountains of Albania. They were rescued and brought to Wildwood in Kent and transferred to Devon in June 2021
  • Wildwood Trust, Herne Common, Kent – 2 bears, both males.  Gosho and Milcho were rescued in 2014 from a canned hunting breeding centre in Bulgaria and renamed Fluff and Scruff. They now occupy a three quarter of an acre woodland enclosure which includes a pool, waterfall, dens and fruit trees.  They were both born in 1998. 
  • Wolds Wildlife Park, Horncastle Lincolnshire – 2 bears, Maxi (male) and Emelia (female).  These bears came from Heythrop Zoo (see above).  Created in 2013, the Park obtained a full zoo licence in December 2019.
  • ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Dunstable, Bedfordshire – 1 female bear, Askungen (Cindarella).  Snövit (Snow White) and Törnrosa (Sleeping Beauty) were shot by the zoo on 21 May 2021 after using a fallen tree to escape their enclosure.  See here for news report.  All three bears were born at Kolmarden Zoo in Sweden and arrived at Whipsnade in November 2017.

Brown bear (Syrian brown bear):

  • Hamerton Zoo Park,  near Sawtry, Huntingdonshire – three bears: 2 males and 1 female.  Three young siblings (Laika, Jaiko and Newton) born in Zoo de Servion in Switzerland.  Housed in “Bear Meadow, about one and a half acres.  Ultimately the plan is to bring in further bears from Armenian rescue centres and to commence a breeding programme.

Brown bear (Ussuri (Amur) brown bear):

  • Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster, South Yorkshire – 3 male (Amur, Riku and Kai) and 1 female (Hanako) were transferred from an unsuitable Japanese facility in early August 2018.  They were the first residents of the Park’s Rehabilitation Centre.  Amur was euthanized in August 2018, Kai in September 2019, Riku and Hanako in October 2019.  All four bears suffered from a variety of health problems due to the many years they spent in poor conditions in the museum in Japan from which they were rescued.

TOTAL FOR SPECIES: 24 bears (13 males and 11 females) (no figures included for Heythrop Zoo)

Giant Panda:

  • Edinburgh Zoo – 2 bears: 1 male and 1 female.  The female is Tian Tian (Sweetie) and the male Yang Guang (Sunshine).  They are kept in two separate enclosures and are on loan from China.

TOTAL FOR SPECIES: 2 bears (1 male and 1 female)

Polar Bear:

  • Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Doncaster, South Yorkshire – 8 bears: 6 males (Nobby, Hamish, Luka, Sisu, Indiana and Yuma) 2 females (Flocke and Tala).
  • TOTAL FOR SPECIES: 11 bears (8 males and 3 females)

Sloth bear:

  • Johnson’s of Old Hurst, Huntingdon – 2 bears (males): Raj and Balou.  Indian sloth bears, from Berlin and Zlin zoos.  Currently separated the bears are intended to become part of a breeding programme.

ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, Dunstable, Bedfordshire – 1 bear: male (Columbo).

TOTAL FOR SPECIES: 3 bears (3 males)

Sun bear (Malayan sun bear):

  • Belfast Zoo, Belfast, Northern Ireland – 2 bears: 1 male (Indera born 2010) and 1 female (Bora).
  • Chester Zoo – 3 bears: 1 male (Toni) and 1 female (Milli) plus one female cub (Kyra) born in 2018.  The two adults are rescue bears and the cub’s parents.
  • Colchester Zoo, Colchester, Essex – 2 bears: 1 male (Jo-Jo) and 1 female (Srey Ya).  The bears are housed in a purpose-built exhibit “Bears of the Rising Sun” and came to the Zoo via Cambodia where they had been confiscated by the Anti-Poaching Patrol.
  • Edinburgh Zoo, Edinburgh, Lothian – 2 bears: 1 male (Rotana born in the wild in Cambodia 2003, arrived at the Zoo in 2010) and 1 female (Babu, born in captivity 2011, arrived January 2019 from the Czechia).
  • Leopard and Goat Farm, Great Treverran, Cornwall – 2 bears: 1 male (Xiong) and 1 female (Mei Li), both born in China in 2017 (but not related).  The bears are housed in a purpose-built one acre woodland enclosure. 

  • Paradise Wildlife Park, Broxbourne, Hertfordshire – Announced in 2020 that a new sun bear exhibit “Sun Bear Heights” will be opening in Summer 2021.  Partnering with the charity “Free the Bears” although the bears will be transferred in from other zoos.  How many bears there will be is not yet known.  For more details see the Park’s announcement here.

TOTAL FOR SPECIES: 11 bears (5 males and  6 females)

We believe the above list to be full and comprehensive (excluding the Heythrop Zoo as noted) but if you spot any errors or have news of any changes please let us know.  We will add more information about the individual bears, their histories and living conditions as our research progresses.  Our intention is to publish a separate page for each of the facilities which is listed above with additional information, photographs, videos and links.

Page updated  27 February 2022