Award winning Yorkshire Wildlife Park is to temporarily close from tonight in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

CEO John Minion said: "We have been asked by numerous visitors to stay open so our 120 acres of park can be used for exercise and fresh air whilst enjoying our unique collection of animals.

"But we have been reviewing the situation on a daily basis and we now feel it is our responsibility to be part of the national solution to stop the spread of this terrible virus.

"We will only open when the time is right but hope it will be soon. Looking after our staff and visitors as well as our animals will as always remain our number one priority.

"We would like to thank all our visitors for their support of Yorkshire Wildlife Park and hope to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so."

YWP, in Branton near Doncaster, puts conservation at the heart of all its activities and welcomes 750,000 visitors each year. The extensive park offers a unique walk through experience coming almost face to face with some of the world's most beautiful and endangered animals including Amur leopards, Amur tigers and the country's only Polar Bears. The dedicated animal staff team will remain on site to ensure that the animals’ high standard of care is maintained.