A travel destination and wildlife encounter without comparison – POLAR PARK, Norway   Leave a comment

POLAR PARK Arctic Wildlife Centre Nasjonalt Rovdyrsenter

Polar Park Arctic Wildlife Centre is situated in Bardu municipality, Troms county, Norway, The park opened on June 18th, 1994 and is home to Norway’s large predators such as bears, wolves, lynx, wolverines and foxes, as well as their prey such as deer, elk, reindeer and musk displayed in their natural habitat. With only 12 enclosures on 114 acres (46 ha), the park has the worlds biggest area per animal ratio.

Polar Park and its animals

more about POLAR PARK

A visit in the wilderness.

Polar Park is more than a traditional zoo. We place great emphasis on animal welfare. We give animals large areas to create an as natural as possible habitat for the animals.

Our main goal is to create a Norwegian wilderness experience, with the beautiful surroundings of Northern Norway’s nature as a setting for your visit to Polar Park.

We recommend three great ways to experience the Polar Park:

1 Join us for the feeding round of the predators. Here you are guaranteed to see the lynx, wolves, wolverines and bears up close. Our guides provide information about the animals during feeding. See here the times for the guided predator feeding.

2 Book a private guided tour. On this guided tour you will be with around to all the predators. Included are also exciting activities as feeding the moose and howl along with Salangsdalen wolf pack. Our guides provide information about the animals during feeding.Should you wish a private guiding here are the prices.

3 You can also walk through the park on your own and experience the animals’ behavior outside of the guided tours. We recommend that you bring binoculars since animals can sometimes be far inside the enclosures to relax. A trip in beautiful surroundings is a great way to see a bit of nature in the area for those who like to walk and look around.

Polar Park offers a wide range of activities to their visitors and is open all-year round.

The big four

The big predators are probably the main attractions. The wolf, wolverine, bear and lynx are the “big four” predators in the Norwegian countryside, and they live wild in the area around the park. Of the bears, the twins Salt and Pepper – one of which is an albino – born in 2009 are perhaps the visitors’ favourites. One pack of wolves has become domesticated and is used to people; another has not, and shies away from human contact.

Animals from the north

The Arctic fox, one of the most endangered species in Norway, can also be viewed right up close. The park is also home to elk, reindeer and red deer, as well as the North American musk ox.

Zoo for everyone

In the summer season, visitors of all ages come to the park and children can come along and watch the park keepers feed the sheep, goats, rabbits and Anton, the Shetland pony. Many families spend the whole day here, alternating between visits to the playground, Anton and the predators. In the winter, you will often have the whole park almost to yourself, so put on your crampons and your warmest clothing and explore the winter landscape.

Longing for a wolf’s kiss?

Animal encounters and wolf kisses

Animal lovers may, of course, go a little further – and get to know the wolves, for example. Small groups of people can approach the wolf pack and get to know them. Wolves communicate with their tongues, so get ready for some wet kisses. You can also join a photo safari, howl with the wolves at night or tag along on a feeding round. Some of the special tours are not suitable for everyone. For example, pregnant women, children and disabled people are not allowed to visit the wolves.

A thorough presentation of the park and its animals are presented here:

The Nature Adventure Park – The World´s Northernmost Wildlife Park

Since I am a wolflover it’s this part of the park’s offers that intrigue me mostly. Polar Park has three wolfpacks – Salangsflokken, the “Wild Pack” and the “2010 Pack”. These three packs live in separate enclosures.

Salangsflokken

Salangsflokken consists of three wolves, one male and two females. They are called Steinulv, Luna and Ylva, and were all three born May 10, 2008. These are offspring of the alpha pair in the Wild pack, Nanok and Gaida.

Salangsflokken is the first wolf pack in North Norway that is socialized to humans.

You have the opportunity to meet the wolves personally on the inside of the enclosure at WolfVisit.

The Wild Pack

This pack consists of only two wolves, the Alfa couple Nanok (born 2000 in Polar Park) and Gaida (born 2004 in Riga, Latvia). Although these wolves are born in captivity, they are not socialized and are wary of humans in nature.

The best time to see these two are the feeding rounds or through a special guided tours where they come from forest in their major area of ​​the enclosure to get snacks from our guides.

Usually the 2 alpha wolves remain happily for themselves deeper in the enclosure and can be hard to spot.

If you are patient though and use good time to go around made ​​the hedge, it is still a good chance that you will spot them.

The 2010 Pack

This pack consists of two wolves, one male named Silmo, and a female named Ilya. These are also the offspring of the alpha pair Nanok and Gaida. Like Salangsflokken these two are socialized and comfortable in our company. Silmo and Ilja are in the same enclosure as the Bears Salt and Pepper.

The wolf (Canis lupus) is the largest member of the dog family. It is a social species, that live in pairs or packs claiming territories.

In Norway we find wolves mainly in the southeastern part of the country near the border to Sweden. However, individual animals roam very far and can in principle appear anywhere in the country.

In the rest of the world we find wolves in wilderness areas in Europe, Asia and North America.

The species status is listed as critically endangered on the Norwegian Red List of species 2010.

Biology

An adult female wolf in Scandinavia weighs on average slightly over 30 kg and 50 kg male. The tail is relatively straight and are often down. In winter, the color of the coat is usually gray or greyish yellow, while the summer shifts to more greyish yellow and reddish brown.

Unlike dogs a wolf’s head is strikingly massive and the body seems narrower and more lofty.

Moose on the menue

The wolf is a specialist in hunting down and capturing larger prey, e.g. moose. In Norway moose is more than 95 percent of the diet of wolves and a pack alone can take more than 100 moose per year on average.

Other prey are also on the menu. In areas of red deer can they represent a large part of the diet. Wolves also eat small game, such as beaver, badger, hare and grouse, and small rodents. Also sheep, where available.

Life in packs

The wolf is a social animal, living in separate territories. There is little overlap between territories, indicated by scent of urine, excrements and pawprints.

The Wolves´ territories in Norway are approximately 500 to 2,000 square kilometers, and the packs that live here can consist from three to about ten individuals who are related.

The wolves are sexually mature the second winter of their life, when they approach the age of two. In Norway it is usually only the alpha couple getting puppies. Mating takes place from February to March and pups are born in late April-May, about 63 days later.

Can wander far

Young wolves usually leave the pack when they are one to two years old, most often in the spring, early summer or fall. They can wander very far from the territory where they were born, and can in principle appear anywhere in Norway.

Radiocollaring of a female born in Hedmark showed that she traveled 1,100 kilometers within one year. It is also known that a Finnish female moved 800 kilometers in a month.

WOLF FACTS:

Scientific name: Canis lupus

Spreading: taiga and tundra area in the northern hemisphere north of ca. 20 degrees

Appearance: The Norwegian wolf has yellow-gray, often speckled gray back with black guard hairs over the shoulders and tail tip. The belly is light and long legs light gray.

Length: Body length (without tail) up to 150 cm, tail length approx. 50 cm

Weight: Males on average 50 kg, females averaging 30 kg

Biology: 4-6 puppies, females can get puppies at the least 11 years old

Food: Most importantly, moose, but also deer and other mammals, e.g. badgers, beavers, hares, rodents and birds. Sheep, when available.

Age: Up to 10 years of age. In Polar Park up to 20 years.

Population Status

2014

So far 40-56 wolves are observed in Norway. Of these 24-35 wolves are only living in Norway. The others llive on the Swedish-Norwegian border.

The winter of 2012-2013 recorded about 30 wolves located only in Norway, compared to 28 to 32 wolves in the winter before.

Wolf front paw

Polar Park WolfVisit – WolfSponsor – HowlNight

WolfVisit

WolfVisit was established to ensure better welfare of wolves in captivity, knowledge increase, and to offer you a unique wilderness experience.

Wolves are genetically afraid of humans. Therefore, non-socialized wolves in captivity are afraid of humans, and live under stressful conditions.

The wolves at WolfVisit are socialized, and accustomed to associate with humans at close range. These wolves are just like other wolves, except from one thing: They don’t fear humans, and enjoy our company as a part of their natural environment.

We give you the unique opportunity to meet the wolves in Polar Park inside the enclosure! Our team will be with you all the time and tell you everything you want to know about the wolf. Meet this mystical animal, and discover the actual truth about wolves together with us at WolfVisit!

You must at least 18 years old, dressed for the occasion, be in good physical shape and be able to follow instructions from the animal keeper to enter the wolf enclosure. Polar Park’s main concern is safety, for both visitors and animals.

It is possible to visit the wolves all year round. We recommend the winterseason, when the park is covered by snow. The wolves are most active in the winter, especially in mating time from february to april.

Summerseason: See here times for WolfVisit

You kan make a reservation for WolfVisit all year round. Call us at +47 77 18 66 30 or send an e-mail: stig@polarpark.no

Se here prices for WolfVisit.

Wolftrack Photo: Mogens Totsås, Statens naturoppsyn. Rovdata

Howl Night

ONLY for pre-booked groups of 10 people or more:

Book at least 3 days in advance.

Join us and get a unique and fantastic experience after closing time!

Bring your family, friends, or your company and experience a visit inside the wolf enclosure after closing time!

Howl Night includes:

– A meeting with the wolves inside the enclosure

– Howling together with the wolves

This photo was taken by Peter Rosén in January 2014

You can book Howl Night any time of the year. We especially recommend this event in the wintertime when the moon lights up the snow and the wolves sparkling eyes, we guarantee that this will be an experience you’ll never forget!

Challenge yourself and join Howl Night, together with our WolfVisit team.

You can book HowlNight all year long, under the mystical arctic winterllight or on a beautiful, light midsummernight, though you should do at least 3 days in advance, Call us at +47 77 18 66 30 or send a e-mail: post@polarpark.no

See the price for HowlNight here

Read more about our events here

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