Polar Bears Meet For First Time And Become Instant BFFs

When Nobby met Nissan ...

21/02/2016 7:48 PM AEDT | Updated 22/02/2016 1:59 AM AEDT

You'd think they'd been friends forever.

Polar bears Nobby and Nissan, both 2 years old, hit it off right away after meeting for the first time Friday at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park near Doncaster in northern England.

Video posted online shows them rubbing noses, playfully hunting and swimming together:

Nissan, who arrived at the park last year, gave Nobby the warm welcome after the latter's two-day, 1,000-mile journey to his new home from Munich Zoo in Germany.

"Nissan was a bit muddy from playing out but he was keen to break off the fun to see what all the fuss was about when Nobby arrived," the park's animal manager Simon Marsh told the Doncaster Free Press.

"Polar bears are used to leaving their mothers at 2 years old and traveling around to find new groupings so this was a natural feeling for both of them. They clearly got along from the start," Marsh added.

Nissan and Nobby share the park's 10-acre Project Polar complex with 16-year-old Victor and 3-year-old Pixel.

The park hopes the all-male group will prove key to protecting the species, threatened by disappearing habitat and hunting.

"Project Polar is one of the largest reserves in the world and a dynamic initiative for conservation, welfare and research," a statement said.

Wild polar bears are found in the U.S., Canada, Russia, Greenland and Norway, and do not live in the Southern Hemisphere.

Females live for an average of 24.1 years and can grow to 8 feet tall and 550 pounds. Males live on average for 20.7 years and grow to 10 feet tall and 1,500 pounds. Disappearing sea ice is causing polar bear populations to plummet, with only 20,000 to 25,000 now in the wild.  

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