Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sizzel and Todz having fun

Sizzel und Todz haben Spaß

Todz and Sizzel dance and play

In the historic Rotterdam Zoo (Diergaarde Blijdorp) you will find Olinka and her two cubs, born December 2, 2014. Their father Eric died in February, when the cubs were just a few months old. He was only 22 years old.


Im historischen Rotterdam Zoo (Blijdorp) finden Sie Olinka und ihren zwei Jungen, geboren am 2. Dezember 2014. Ihr Vater Eric starb im Februar, als die Jungen nur ein paar Monate alt waren. Er war erst 22 Jahre alt.


Mother Olinka plays referee as
 Sizzel wrestles brother Todz to the ground
Todz sits on the shore. Olinka wants him to swim
The zoo has just announced that the twins are a girl and a boy, and their name are Sizzel and Todz. Sizzel, the girl, seems to be more adventurous. Todz is more likely to wait at the side of the pool until his mother and sister pull him in.

Der Zoo hat soeben verkündigt, dass die Zwillinge ein Junge und ein Mädchen sind, und ihre Namen sind Sizzel und Todz. Sizzel, das Mädchen, scheint mehr Abenteuerlustig zu sein. Todz wartet lieber an der Seite des Pools, bis seine Mutter und Schwester ihn zu sich ins Wasser ziehen.

Mama Olinka tries to get Todz to come into the pool.
The twins love to play and fight
Olinka's father was an American bear, the late Omaha, named after the city in which he was born at the Henry Doorley Zoo in the USA. Omaha's parents were Olaf and Olga, who were the parents of many cubs, including the late Patches of the North Carolina Zoo, and Bam Bam, still in Omaha. Thus little Sizzel and Todz are related to many of the American bears.

Olinka Vater war ein amerikanischer Eisbär, der verstorbene Omaha, benannt nach der Stadt, in der er im Henry Doorley Zoo in den USA geboren wurde. Omahas Eltern waren Olaf und Olga, die die Eltern von vielen Jungtieren waren, einschließlich der inzwischen verstorbenen Patches des North Carolina Zoo und Bam Bam, welcher noch in Omaha lebt. Daher sind Sizzel und Todz mit sehr vielen der amerikanischen Eisbären verwandt.

Olinka and her active twins
Sizzel and Todz' grandmother on their father's side is Aika, who still lives in Tierpark Berlin.

Sizzel und Todz 'Großmutter' auf der Seite ihres Vaters ist Aika, die immer noch in Tierpark Berlin lebt.


Sizzel plays with a plastic cub, until a blackbird steals it away

Olinka And Eric have had six other cubs. Sizzel and Todz are sister and brother to Lloyd, Nika, Lara, Arktos, Nanuq and Vicks. We all remember Vicks for being the cub who threw rocks at the pool window and shattered the window, which did not totally break, but had to be replaced at great expense. Since that incident, all rocks of that size have been removed.

Olinka und Eric hatten sechs anderen Jungtiere gezeugt. Sizzel und Todz sind Schwester und Bruder von Lloyd, Nika, Lara, Arktos, Nanuq und Vicks. Wir alle erinnern uns anVicks, dass das Jungtier einen großen Stein an das Pool-Fenster warf und das Fenster zersplittern ließ, das jedoch nicht völlig zerbrechen konnte, die Scheibe musste aber mit großem Aufwand ausgetauscht werden. Seit diesem Vorfall wurden alle Steine dieser Größe aus dem Eisbärenbecken entfernt.


Video of Vicks breaking window

Sizzel, Todz and Mama Olinka

In 2001 Rotterdam Zoo opened a remarkable new area, housing an immense aquarium called the Oceanium, a butterfly dome, a new entrance, and new polar bear accommodations called Arctica, which also is home to arctic foxes. The area is spacious and well planned. There are two polar bear enclosures, so father Eric had his own place while Olinka raised the cubs. Sadly, Eric's enclosure is now empty.

Im Jahr 2001 eröffnet der Rotterdam Zoo einen bemerkenswerten neuen Bereich, ein Gehege samt einem riesige Aquarium genannt Oceanium, einen Schmetterlingskuppel, einen neuen Eingang und neue Eisbären Unterkünfte genannt Arctica, das ist auch die Heimat von Polarfüchsen. Die Anlage ist geräumig und gut geplant. Es gibt zwei Eisbären-Gehege, so hatte Vater Eric seinen eigenen Platz, während Olinka nebenan die Jungtiere aufziehen konnte. Leider ist Erics Gehege nun leer.


The pool is very wide and deep, plenty of room for waterplay.
 Here is Olinka swimming, and little Todz is on the shore

The second spacious area at Rotterdam Zoo,
 where Eric sometimes lived, is now empty.

Eric was also the father of Felix (now in Stuttgart), so Felix is half brother to Sizzel and Todz.

Eric war auch der Vater von Felix, so Felix ist Halbbruder zur Sizzel und Todz.
Sizzel swimming in the big pool

Olinka with her cubs

Here's a fun toy

Sizzel swimming with a piece of something?

Olinka in the sand pit, happily nursing her cubs

Todz chases his sister

The polar bear enclosure has grassy knolls, a sand pit where Olinka enjoys nursing her cubs, and a deep and vast diving pool, with an interior viewing area showcased by very tall, specially made windows. There are massive dead trees on which to climb, and many blackbirds to chase. The cubs also like climbing up and down the rocky cliff at the back. The twins make good use of the tremendous diving pool at the zoo. 

Die Eisbärenanlage hat Grashügel, einen Sandkasten, wo Olinka es genießt ihre Jungen zu versorgen, und ein tiefes und große Tauchbecken, mit einer im Inneren Sichtfläche durch sehr hoch, speziell angefertigte Fenster präsentiert. Es gibt riesige tote Bäume, auf denen Viel zum klettern ist, und viele Amseln zum jagen sind. Die Jungtiere klettern auch nach sehr gern oben und unter die Felswand an der Rückseite. Die Zwillinge machen guten Gebrauch vom enormen Sprungbecken im Zoo.



Sizzle hiding behind mom's legs

Sizzel and Todz spend a lot of time wrestling with and chasing each other. These cubs know how to have a good time. Olinka is very patient. She plays with them in the water, and later sits serenely on the grassy knoll while the cubs climb over her, fighting and biting. Olinka just smiles and lets the cubs play.


Sizzel und Todz verbringen viel Zeit mit Ringkämpfen und jagen einander. Diese Jungtiere wissen, wie man eine gute Zeit haben kann. Olinka ist sehr geduldig. Sie spielt mit ihnen im Wasser und später liegt sie gelassen auf dem Grashügel, während die Jungtiere über sie, klettern, miteinander kämpfen und sich beißen. Olinka lächelt nur und lässt die Jungtiere spielen.


A pyramid of bears. Olinka ignores the fight on her back
German translation thanks to Marga Andresen Gransow.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A final farewell to Tosca

Ein endgültiger Abschied von Tosca

Tosca - photo taken May 7, 2015

Tosca, best known as mother of the famous Knut, is leaving us. A committee of veterinarians, keepers and animal experts met at the Berlin Zoo this week, and decided that her quality of life was gone, and she should not suffer further. She was blind, deaf, and showed signs of severe dementia. Tosca stumbled when she tried to walk, and could not find her food.

Tosca, am besten als Mutter des berühmten Knut bekannt, verlässt uns. Ein Ausschuss von Tierärzten, Tierpflegern und Tierexperten trafen sich im Berliner Zoologischen Garten in dieser Woche, und beschlossen, dass Toscas Lebensqualität vergangen war, und sie nicht weiter leiden sollte. Sie war blind, taub, und zeigte Anzeichen von schwerer Demenz. Tosca stolperte, als sie versuchte zu gehen, und konnte ihr Fressen nicht mehr finden.

Tosca (front) and Katjuscha (back) - photo taken May 7, 2015

Tosca, age 28, was born in the wild in Canada in 1986, and captured in 1987. She was then sold into an East German circus where she had to perform, sometimes with the Polar Bear Princess Ursula  Blütchen. When the Polar Bear Princess retired in 1998, Tosca went to the Berlin Zoo to enjoy her retirement.


Tosca, Alter 28, wurde in der Wildnis in Kanada im Jahr 1986 geboren und im Jahre 1987 gefangen genommen, sie wurde dann an einen DDR-Zirkus verkauft, wo sie dann später auftreten musste, meistens unter der Regie von Ursula Boettcher. Als die *Polar Bear Princess* im Jahr 1998 in den Ruhestand versetzt wurde kam Tosca an den Berliner Zoologischen Garten.

Tosca - photo May 7, 2015

With Lars as the father, Tosca gave birth to the famous Knut and his twin brother on December 5, 2006, but she neglected them, and left them outside on the rocks. The brother died, and Knut was raised by keepers, and became a celebrity, and star of the Berlin Zoo.


Mit Lars als Vater bekam Tosca den später dann berühmten Eisbären Knut und seinen Zwillingsbruder am 5. Dezember 2006, aber sie vernachlässigt ihren Nachwuchs und ließ sie draußen auf den Felsen liegen. Der Bruder starb wenige Tage danach, und wurde von Knut's Tierpfleger von Hand aufgezogen, und er wurde eine Berühmtheit und der Star des Berliner Zoos.

Tosca, near the water. Photo taken May 7, 2015.
In recent weeks, it had become unsafe to allow her
to walk around the enclosure.

A sculpture of "Knut the Dreamer"
 stands near the polar bear enclosure at the Berlin Zoo

Eventually Knut joined his mother and her two friends Nancy and Katjuscha in the large enclosure, but sadly, Knut died of a drowning accident caused by a brain infection.


Schließlich kam Knut doch noch mit seiner Mutter und ihren beiden Freundinnen Nancy und Katjuscha in das große Gehege zusammen, aber leider starb Knut durch Ertrinken, bedingt durch eine verursachte Gehirninfektion.

In a photo taken last September, shortly before Nancy's sudden death, Nancy is licking Tosca's ears, a sign of great affection.

Tosca and Nancy were very close, and spent many hours with Nancy licking Tosca's ears. When Nancy, who was a few years younger, died last fall, Tosca became very lonely.


Tosca und Nancy waren sehr eng verbunden, und sie verbrachte viele Stunden mit Nancy, die leckte Tosca's Ohren. Als dann Nancy, die ein paar Jahre jünger war, im vergangenen Herbst starb, da wurde Tosca sehr einsam.
Tosca, in front, Katy in back. Photo taken May 7, 2015

I visited Tosca and Katjuscha on May 7, just about six weeks ago. Katjuscha was active and playing with toys in the water, but Tosca was just pacing, and seemed sad. She did look alert and able, though.


Ich besuchte Tosca und Katjuscha am 7. Mai vor nur etwa sechs Wochen. Katjuscha war aktiv und spielt mit Spielzeug im Wasser, aber Tosca war gerade *Pacing* und schien traurig. Sie war aber noch sehr aufmerksam und in der Lage zu gehen.


Tosca
Reports from the zoo said that Tosca's health deteriorated rapidly in the past few weeks. She had become disoriented, deaf and blind, and no longer went outside.

Berichte aus dem Zoo sagten, dass Tosca's Gesundheit sich rasch verschlechterte in den letzten Wochen. Sie war desorientiert, taub und auch dabei blind zu werden, und ging auch nicht mehr nach draußen.

Tosca

The officials made the decision that Tosca should not suffer any longer.


Die Verantwortlichen haben nun die Entscheidung getroffen, dass Tosca nicht länger leiden soll.

Tosca in front, Katy in back.
 Photo taken May 7, 2015

Only 30 year old Katjuscha lives in the enclosure at the Berlin Zoo.


Nur lebt nur die 30 Jahre alt Katjuscha in dem Gehegee im Berliner Zoologischen Garten.
Katjuscha
With Tosca gone, Boris in Point Defiance Zoo in Washington State, USA, will be the last surviving GDR circus bear.


Mit dem Ableben von Tosca ist nun Boris im Point Defiance Zoo in Washington State, USA der letzte überlebende DDR Zirkus Eisbär.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Polar bear paradise at Henry Vilas Zoo

The happy new residents of the brand new Arctic Passage, at Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison Wisconsin. Suka roams, while Sakari chews on one of the logs.


Suka and Sakari welcomed visitors to their brand new home, Arctic Passage, at Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison Wisconsin over the Memorial Day weekend. I visited on Monday, May 25.


A view of the old polar bear grotto, in a photo taken in June, 2013. The project broke ground in March of 2014. The new Arctic Passage is in the same area, but  at 1.7 acre, is much, much larger. Photo by Jeff Merrow.

A map of the $9.13 million Arctic Passage project.
 There is reference to an overlook to be added later, at top left. The area is home to polar bears, grizzly bears and three harbor seals.

Suka walks, and Sakari thinks about chewing some more bark off that branch. The three windows you see are in the cafeteria,
 so you can watch the bears while you enjoy lunch.

Suka and Sakari, now 2 ½ years old, were born at the Toledo Zoo to Crystal and Marty on November 21, 2012. Last September, the twins moved to Como Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota, where they had an enclosure all to themselves. The other two polar bears at Como, Neil and Buzz, lived next door.


Sakari swims in the big diving pool, While Suka takes one of her long walks. This photo was taken from the central viewing area between the two enclosures.
This past Saturday, May 23, was the grand opening of the new Arctic Passage at Henry Vilas, a wonderful little free zoo in Madison.

One comment I heard over and over was how much nicer this enclosure was for the bears than the ancient and much smaller grotto.

The polar bear cubs seemed to be having a wonderful time, enjoying the deep pool and the rolling grassy meadow they now call home.

Suka and her brother Sakari will live at Henry Vilas for several years, while they grow up. They are still just playful cubs.

One of the three panoramic windows in the cafeteria.

As you approach Arctic Passage, the first thing you see is the restaurant. Straight ahead through the doors are the three big windows to view the meadow from inside. To the right is another window to see the lower corner of the meadow. There is also a den with  two viewing windows to peek inside.

One of two windows to see the den

Walking toward the central viewing area, you can stop and see the underwater action in the 46,500 gallon pool from two levels, if anyone is swimming. Arctic Passage has many interactive educational features too, about the environment and endangered animals such as polar bears.

And here we have a swimmer, and fans to watch and take photos

Diving

The underwater viewing window,
as seen from the central viewing window.

Suka wonders who is that pretty bear in the water

Suka and Sakari in the lush grass.

Suka by the sunning rock in the big pool.

Sakari chomps some bark

Suka finds a snack

Sakari really loves rolling around on the grass.

Walking toward the central viewing area. There is a "problem bear relocation trap" that children can climb into, lower right. The polar bears are in the area to the left, the grizzlies to the right.

A view of the underwater viewing area, taken from the bridge by the bison

A training and demonstration area runs along the back wall between the two enclosures, so keepers can educate visitors about how they care for the bears.

A view of the right hand enclosure, through the central viewing window.The Grizzly Bear sisters Ash and Lexi seem to enjoy their new home.

A view of the right hand enclosure through the pool viewing window.
 That is the edge of the pool to the right.

A view from the lower window.
 3 year old sisters Ash and Lexi enjoy having so much space.

The pool in the right hand enclosure.
 The grizzlies have a running stream that sometimes has live fish to catch.

The Grizzly Sisters Ash and Lexi really enjoy their new home, and the visitors find them to be very entertaining.


Something I have not seen before, a retired research vehicle - a Tundra Buggy -  sponsored by Polar Bears International is on display at Arctic Passage.
 

Sakari and Suki wait by the door. They go inside at 4 p.m. So come early.