A group of migrants attempting to make illegal entry into the United Kingdom were shocked after they prised open a lorry in Calais to find it was occupied by a huge polar bear in transit to a wildlife park in the north of England.
Four men were there when the doors were opened; one ran off and three climbed up and in behind the animal’s cage, completely undeterred. The bear, called Nissan, had been flown by cargo plane from Moscow Zoo to Frankfurt, Germany the previous day, and was bound for Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Doncaster via the Channel Tunnel.
The giant 22-month-old youngster is seen gnawing and scratching at his cage as the men climb on, in footage obtained by The Sun. The migrants were inside the truck for 10 minutes before French police removed them.
Onlooker Simon Bridger, 36, of West Malling, Kent, said: “We were in the vehicle behind when we hit a roadblock at about 4am. A group of migrants had put up some plastic fencing to stop the trucks very close to the camp. “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.”
Simon Marsh, animal collections manager at Yorkshire Wildlife Park, said: “The journey had gone very well up to then. The staff couldn’t believe it. Fortunately Nissan was safely contained in his travel crate.
“He is only 22-months-old but he is a fair size and let out a roar when his peace was disturbed.
“But the men still jumped in without seemingly any fear.”
Nissan became the third polar bear at Yorkshire Wildlife Park. John Minion, the park’s chief executive, said: “Nissan has now arrived and is in great shape.”