Monday 24 April 2017

Migrants climb into truck containing polar bear in Calais

A polar bear who had an unexpected encounter with shocked migrants who climbed aboard his lorry in Calais appears unfazed by his experience, his new owners have said.

The bear, called Nissan, was in the back of a truck outside the French town when a group of people managed to open the back doors and three of them got into the compartment containing his cage.

Nissan was on the final stages of his own journey from Eastern Europe in search of a better life in the UK - at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster.

He set off from Moscow Zoo earlier in the week by plane. But the second leg of his journey to South Yorkshire was by road from Frankfurt, Germany.

A Yorkshire Wildlife Park spokesman confirmed that migrants got aboard Nissan's lorry close to the camp known as The Jungle on Tuesday morning. The doors were shut and three men were inside the truck for about 10 minutes before French police arrived and released them.

Witness Simon Bridger, of West Malling, Kent, told The Sun: "It only took 17 seconds before four vaulted the barrier and prised open the truck's back doors. They must have had the surprise of their lives. It shows how desperate they are to get to Britain."

Nissan has now arrived at the wildlife park where he has joined the older bears - 15-year-old Victor and two-year-old Pixel - in its huge Project Polar reserve.

The spokesman said: "He's absolutely fine. He appears to be settling in well with Victor and Pixel."

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