Jimmy Doherty has paid tribute to the Suffolk community for their help in rescuing a bear from being put to sleep in Sweden.

Mr Doherty's business Jimmy's Farm, in Wherstead near Ipswich, has been campaigning for the last few weeks to raise enough money to build Diego the brown bear an enclosure.

Within days of the fundraiser being set up, it had raised more than £20,000 before going on to raise £56,000, meaning the park has saved Diego.

He was one of just two remaining animals left at Orsa Predator Park in Sweden, and would have been put to sleep within weeks had he not been saved.

He is now living in Dorset's Wildwood Trust after travelling there by the Eurotunnel, which is where he will stay for hibernation over the next few months.

During this time, Jimmy's Farm will now get to work in building his enclosure to "create a habitat that closely resembles his natural habitat".

MOREJimmy's Farm hopes Suffolk will be home for Diego next year

MORE: Sweden Orsa Park sends thank you to Jimmy's Farm by Ipswich

Mr Doherty took to the GoFundMe page to thank the public.

He said: "We are overjoyed to share the exciting news with you - we did it!

Ipswich Star: Jimmy Doherty, owner of Jimmy's Farm & Wildlife ParkJimmy Doherty, owner of Jimmy's Farm & Wildlife Park (Image: Newsquest)

"We successfully saved Diego, thanks to your generous donations and unwavering support.

"Your contributions allowed us to carry out this challenging rescue mission and now, with hearts full of gratitude, we eagerly embark on the next phase, building Diego's new home.

"Through your kindness and generosity, we are paving the way for a brighter future for Diego, where he can live a life filled with love, care and the freedom he deserves.

"This project would not be possible without your support and we are incredibly grateful for your dedication to making a positive impact on the lives of animals like Diego."

Diego is not the first bear that Jimmy's Farm has rescued, with Ewa, a polar bear, moving to Suffolk early last month.

The fundraiser is still open for Diego.

Ipswich Star: Diego the brown bearDiego the brown bear (Image: Jimmy's Farm)