Saturday, January 10, 2015

Happy 4th Birthday to Qannik

Qannik as a cub

Qannik will celebrate her 4th birthday at the Louisville Zoo, Kentucky, today. January 10, in grand style, with a party, birthday cake, gifts, and a birthday song by her friends. She now weighs 425 pounds, a lot more than the 15 pounds she weighed when she was rescued from the North Slope in Alaska four years ago.

Qannik and her toys - in a pool of ice
The party starts with a peanut butter cake donated by Heitzman's Traditional Bakery and Deli. There will be a giant birthday card for everyone to sign, and her friends will sing Happy Birthday.
Qannik in Polar Bear Alley in Glacier Run

Since Qannik was born in the wild, no one knows her exact birthday, so January 10 was picked as the day to celebrate.

Keeper Jane Ann feeds baby Qannik
Four years ago, wildborn cub Qannik's story took a dark turn. She was found in the spring of 2011 on Alaska's North Slope, separated from her mother and sister by a severe storm. She only weighed 15 pounds, and she was starving. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with staff of the Alaska Zoo, rescued her. After a few months at the Alaska Zoo, gaining back her health, putting on some weight and making many new friends, Qannik was flown to Glacier Run at the Louisville Zoo.
Baby Qannik playing on the steps
Glacier Run, which had opened only a few months before Qannik's July 2011 arrival, is an ideal place for a polar bear cub to grow up. The innovative facility is built on three levels, to provide the polar bears an environment in which to build their back leg muscles by climbing up and down many stairs and ramps.

Crowds gather to watch Qannik's antics

The deep pool in the swimming area has a 22 foot observation window, where Qannik's fans can watch her swim and dive and do her little hiding tricks.
Qannik playing with her favorite log

Unlike her older companion Siku, who likes to swim only on occasion but would rather be on solid ground most of the time, Qannik is a little water baby. She loves to swim and perform her water ballet. She likes to hide her various treasures in a certain hiding hole in the pool, and then retrieve it, then do it all again.
Dive, Qannik, Dive!

Qannik's keepers realize that any kind of repetitive behavior can lead to stereotypical pacing, so they make sure they vary her schedule, her routine, her environment, and her toys.

Playing with her log again

The Louisville Zoo's innovative rotation schedule is designed to give the animal residents stimulating and exciting experiences during each day.

Qannik run up and down stairways and ramps many times each day. It is great exercise.

Polar bears, who evolved to walk many many miles in the Arctic, may be prone to stereotypical behavior when living in a zoo. The Louisville Zoo staff gives the bears opportunities for fresh adventures several time a day by moving the animals from one enclosure to another, and adding enrichment in many ways. Their toys are changed out. Interesting foods might be hidden in jute bags, boxes, paper bags and other containers. Food might be smeared on the walls and rocks. Qannik might have a tub or pool full of ice to play with. Food might be frozen inside ice blocks. Each day is full of surprises for the bears. 
Qannik is a water baby
    There is talk of moving Qannik to the St. Louis Zoo when that new exhibit opens, and Kali, another wildborn cub now living in the Buffalo Zoo, would join her there. I would hate to see Qannik or Siku move away from the Louisville Zoo, which is optimally designed for polar bear development, with a staff that works to provide optimal enrichment in addition to innovative environment rotation.

Happy Birthday, Qannik

Monday, December 29, 2014

Como Zoo is Polar Bear Central

Como Zoo ist das Eisbär Zentrum

This is my 100th post to
Special holiday edition - Photos by my daughter Corinna Troth  - Molly

Suka, above, watches her brother Sakari play in the pool
 with the new pipe
It was Christmas Eve at the Como Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota, and everyone was feeling merry. My daughter Corinna Troth took her sons Justin and Bailey to the zoo to visit the bears and these are her photos. Thank you, Corinna.

Es war Heiligabend im Como Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota, und jeder fühlte sich fröhlich. Meine Tochter Corinna Troth nahm ihre Söhne und Justin Bailey in den Zoo dieEisbären zu besuchen und das sind ihre Fotos. Danke, Corinna.
Twin brothers Neil (left) and  Buzz (right)
 in the training area between the two enclosures.
Twin brothers Neil and Buzz, longtime residents of the Como Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota, welcomed 2 year old youngsters Suka (girl) and Sakari (boy) from the Toledo Zoo a few months ago.

Zwillingsbrüder Neil und Buzz, langjähriger Bewohner des Como Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota, begrüßten die 2 Jahre alten Jugendlichen Suka (Mädchen) und Sakari (Junge) aus demToledo Zoo vor ein paar Monaten.

Neil wanders around the left side enclosure

Neil and some of the many toys
 at the Como Zoo

Buzz stays inside to keep an eye on the young cubs next door. He keeps  waiting, hoping that the door will open and he can play with the neighbors

19 year old Neil and Buzz live in the left side enclosure, and the cubs live on the right side. Buzz spends much of his time sitting at the door, hoping that it will open so he can play with the cubs, but the zoo does not plan to allow the bears to mix. The cubs are about half the size of their great uncles.

Die beiden 19 Jahre alten Eisbären Neil und Buzz leben auf der linken Seite der Anlage, und die Jungtiere leben auf der rechten Seite. Buzz verbringt einen Großteil seiner Zeit vor der Tür sitzend, in der Hoffnung, dass sich das Tor öffnet, damit er mit den Jungen spielen kann, aber der Zoo hat nichts davon geplant, die Eisbären zusammen zu führen. Die Jungtiere sind etwa die Hälfte der Größe ihrer Großonkel.

Sakari plays with the plastic carton,
 and Suka swims

A plastic pool becomes a hat

Clark, the grandfather of Neil and Buzz, is also the grandfather of Marty, father of the twins. This means that Neil and Buzz are great-uncles of the cubs.

Clark, der Großvater von Neil und Buzz, ist auch der Großvater von Marty, der Vater der Zwillinge. Das bedeutet, dass Neil und Buzz sind Großonkel der Jungen.

Suka loves swimming against the window pane, playing with the buoyancy of the water. She grew up in salt water, and the new pool has fresh water

Suka has been fascinated with the diving pool. The Toledo twins grew up with a salt water pool, and the pool at Como zoo is freshwater, so the buoyancy is very different. She loves to place her feet against the glass, and paddle in place for long periods.

Suka war fasziniert vom Tauchbecken. Die Toledo Zwillinge wuchsen mit einem Salzwasser-Pool auf, und der Pool am Como Zoo ist Süßwasser, somit ist der Auftrieb im Wasser ein ganz anderer. Sie liebt es, die Füße gegen das Glas zu legen und an Ort und Stelle über einen längeren Zeitraum nur zu paddeln. 

Suka on land, Sakari in water

Sakari loves playing with the pipe
The children are entertained
 by the antics of the polar bear cubs

Sakari with the pipe

And Sakari is still playing with the pipe

Sakari adds a fire hose
 to the pipe for playing

Sakari is thrilled with the new PVC pipe as a plaything. He and his sister are full of fun and energy.

Sakari ist mit dem neuen PVC-Rohr als Spielzeug begeistert. Er und seine Schwester sind voller Spaß und Energie.


Suka on land, Sakari in the water
The Como Zoo has a great underwater viewing window. This is Sakari

The Toledo Zoo is hopeful that Nan will give birth to cubs this winter at the Arctic Encounter, but so far we have no news of it. Aurora at the Columbus Zoo gave birth to twins, but they died right away. We have not heard of any other cubs born this year in U.S. Zoos. In Europe, there are six surviving cubs born this season. The birthing season is not yet over though.

Der Toledo Zoo hofft, dass Nan Nachwuchs bringt in diesem Winter am Polar Centrum, aber bisher haben wir keine Nachricht erhalten. Aurora im Columbus Zoo brachte Zwillinge zur Welt, aber diese verstarben wenig später. Wir haben bislang von keinen anderen Jungtieren gehört, die in diesem Jahr in US-Zoos geboren wurden. In Europa gibt es sechs überlebenden Jungtiere in dieser Saison geboren. Die Geburten Saison ist aber noch nicht vorbei.

Sakari with the pipe

Suka is growing,
but her brother Sakari is quite a bit bigger

While most zoos in the U.S. have not seen new cubs in years, even decades, the Toledo Zoo has been very successful in breeding cubs, six cubs in eight years. Marty and Nan had Nikita in 2006, the same year that Marty and Crystal had Aurora and Anana. Nikita is now in Kansas City, and the girls live in Columbus Ohio. Crystal had Siku in 2009, and he is now at the Louisville Zoo, which is where Neil and Buzz were born 19 years ago.

Während die meisten Zoos in den USA kaum neue Jungtiere seit vielen Jahren, teilweise sogar seit Jahrzehnten, so ist der Toledo Zoo sehr erfolgreich seit acht Jahren in der Zucht mit Jungtieren, sechs Junge. Marty und Nan hatte Nikita im Jahr 2006, im selben Jahr, Marty und Crystal hatten Aurora und Anana. Nikita ist jetzt in Kansas City, und die Mädchen leben im Columbus Zoo in Ohio. Crystal hatte Siku 2009, und er ist jetzt im Louisville Zoo, das ist, wo Neil und Buzz vor 19 Jahren geboren wurden.

Suka and Sakari love to play.
Suka bites her brother, Sakari just laughs

 Besides the 6 cubs born at the Toledo Zoo, the only other surviving cubs born in the U.S zoos in the past eight years are Marty's 8 year old brother Hudson at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, and two year old Luna born at the Buffalo Zoo.

Neben den sechs Jungen, die im Toledo Zoo geboren wurden, sind die einzigen anderen überlebenden Jungtiere in den US-Zoos in den letzten acht Jahren auf die Welt kamen Martys 8-jähriger Bruder Hudson im Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, und die zwei Jahre alten Luna im Buffalo Zoo geboren.

Suka and Sakari ready for action

There are also two wild-born cubs from Alaska, 2 year old Kali at the Buffalo Zoo and 4 year old Qannik at the Louisville Zoo.

Außerdem gibt es zwei in der Wildnis geborene Jungtiere aus Alaska, die 2 Jahre alten Kali im Buffalo Zoo und die 4 Jahre alt Qannik, nun im Louisville Zoo.

Sakari and Suka (with hose)
Boy Sakari on left, and Girl Suka on right.
Sakari is a lot bigger than his sister.

There are new polar bear enclosures being built at several zoos, and the lack of new cubs being born means that it will be very hard for every zoo with a good enclosure to find a bear, or better yet, a breeding pair. There are currently 57 polar bears in American zoos.

Es gibt neue Eisbären-Gehege, die in mehreren Zoos gebaut wurden, und der Mangel an neuen Jungtieren, die geboren werden bedeutet, dass es sehr schwer für jeden Zoo sein muss, mit einem guten Gehege, einen Bären zu finden, oder besser noch, ein Zuchtpaar. Es leben noch 57 Eisbären in amerikanischen Zoos.

It is constant playing at the Como Zoo
 since the twins arrived
I don't know how long Suka and Sakari will be in St. Paul, but I have heard there are plans for them to move into the new polar bear enclosure at the Henry Villas Zoo in Madison Wisconsin when it is finished.

Ich weiß nicht, wie lange Suka und Sakari in St. Paul, Minnesota verbleiben werden, aber ich habe gehört, es gibt Pläne, damit sie in die neue Eisbärenanlage im Henry Villas Zoo in Madison, Wisconsin, umziehen werden, wenn es fertig ist.

Swimming Pool fun

In the meantime, they are having a great time at Como Zoo, and the polar bear twins, both young and old, are a star attraction.

In der Zwischenzeit haben sie eine tolle Zeit im Como Zoo und die Eisbären-Zwillinge, jung und alt, sind eine Hauptattraktion.

Sakari is multi-tasking his toys
Justin and Bailey enjoy a Christmas Eve visit
to the Como Zoo polar bears.

All photos by Corinna Troth

Bailey and Justin,
 with Polar Bear Neil in the background at the Como Zoo
A closer look

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lale, the Princess of Zoo am Meer

Lale, die Prinzessin von Bremerhaven

New Year's Eve last year in the bustling German port of Bremerhaven was a quiet one, to provide peace and calm to new mother Valeska at Zoo am Meer in Bremerhaven.

Silvester im letzten Jahr in dem geschäftigen deutschen Hafen von Bremerhaven war eine ruhiges Fest mit Frieden und Ruhe, für die neue Mutter Valeska im Zoo am Meer in Bremerhaven.

The entrance to Zoo am Meer

Zoo am Mer is very small in size, and sits right on the sea.
 This is the view from across the little man made bay,
 with a sailing ship behind the zoo.
A request had gone out to forego the usual noisy fireworks that light up the sky on New Year's Eve over the water by the oceanside zoo, so Valeska and her two week old cub Lale would not be disturbed.

Eine Anforderung war ausgeschrieben, auf die üblichen lauten Feuerwerke, die den Himmel aufleuchten lassen für dieses Silvester über dem Wasser von der Meeresseite desZoos zu verzichten, so dass Valeska und ihr zwei Wochen altes Jungtier Lale nicht unnötig gestört werden würde.

Valeska and her daughter Lale
 This unique and tiny zoo is right on the ocean, with the blue waters of the sea visible behind the polar bears. Lale had been born on December 17, 2013, and everyone in the city wanted only the best for her, so New Year's Eve was a quiet one last year.

Dieses einzigartige und kleinen Zoo ist direkt am Meer, mit dem blauen Wasser des Meeres hinter den Eisbären zu sehen. Lale war am 17. Dezember 2013 geboren wurde, und jeder in der Stadt wollte nur das Beste für sie, somit war Silvester ein ruhiges im vergangenen Jahr 2013.

You can see the ships in the ocean behind Lale's window
Lale's mother is 10 year old Valeska, daughter of Vienna and the late Churchill. Valeska's twin sister Venus, the mother of 3 year old Ranzo, just gave birth to twins in Finland last week. Valeska and Venus are also sisters of Victoria of Aalborg Zoo (Lale is Milak's cousin), Victor (father of Huggie's cubs), Vilma (mother of Anori), and Vitus. And now we have learned that Vilma has just given birth December 3 at Rostock.

Lale Mutter ist die 10 Jahre alte Valeska, die Tochter von Vienna und dem verstorbenen Churchill. Valeska Zwillingsschwester Venus, die Mutter vom 3-jährigen Ranzo, gerade gebar Zwillinge in Ranua, Finnland in der vergangenen Woche. Valeska und Venus sind auch Schwestern von Victoria aus dem Zoo von Aalborg, Dänemark.(Lale ist Milaks Cousine), Victor (Vater von Huggies Jungtieren), Vilma (Mutter von Anori) and Vitus. Und jetzt haben wir gelernt, dass Vilma hat gerade entbunden 3. Dezember.

Lloyd is Lale's father
Lale's father is Lloyd, who is the grandson of Omaha, born at the Henry Doorley Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska. Thus, Lale is the great great granddaughter of the famous pair Olaf and Olga, and is a cousin to many American polar bears. Lloyd's mother Olinka gave birth to twins on December 2.

Lale Vater ist Lloyd, der Enkel von Omaha, welcher im Henry Doorley Zoo in Omaha, Nebraska geboren ist. So ist Lale die Urenkelin des berühmten Paares Olaf und Olga, und ist ein Cousine von viele amerikanische Eisbären. Lloyd Mutter Olinka gebar Zwillinge am 2. Dezember.
Here is Lloyd in the large enclosure.
You can climb to a high vantage point to watch the bears from above

Zoo am Meer devotes about a third of its space to the polar bear family. During the day, Lale and her mother play in the two large connected enclosures, and Father Lloyd is limited to a very small enclosure not seen by the public. Late in the day, Mother and Daughter go inside and Father Lloyd gets to play in the evening.

Der kleine Zoo am Meer widmet etwa ein Drittel der Anlage für die Eisbärenfamilie. Während des Tages, Lale und ihre Mutter spielen in den beiden großen angeschlossenen Gehegen und Vater Lloyd ist auf einem sehr kleinen Gehege nicht von der Öffentlichkeit einzusehen. Später am Tag, Mutter und Tochter gehen hinein und Vater Lloydbekommt am Abend seine Zeit zu spielen.

Lale plays catch with herself,
throwing the rawhide bone in the air and catching it

Lale is a true celebrity in Bremerhaven. The zoo gift shop is filled with Lale merchandise. All the children know her name and her story, and she is the star attraction. 

Lale ist eine wahre Berühmtheit in Bremerhaven. Der Zoo Geschenk-Shop ist mit Lale Waren gefüllt. Alle Kinder kennen ihren Namen und ihre Geschichte, und sie ist die Hauptattraktion.

She loves her rawhide bone

If you are lucky, you will see Lale swimming underwater.
 Here she is, a long ways from my camera.
You can see her rawhide bone in her mouth.
There's that bone again
Lale gives a very entertaining show with her funny antics. She has a very large pool, but if you want to view the underwater window, you have to walk down a long way, and hope she is still in the water when you get there.

Lale gibt eine sehr unterhaltsame Show mit ihrem lustigen Possen. Sie hat einen sehr großen Pool, aber wenn man die Unterwasserfenster anschauen möchte, müssen Sieeinen langen Weg hinunter steigen, und hoffen, dass sie noch im Wasser ist, wenn Sie dort ankommen.

Lale loves to roll in the dirt, and some days she is quite brown
She loves to play in the dirt and becomes a brown bear too, sometimes. Her favorite toy when I visited her was a rawhide bone to toss into the air. On other days she plays with a traffic cone, or a ball.

Sie liebt es, im Schmutz spielen und wird manchmal auch zu einem Braunbären. Ihr Lieblingsspielzeug, als ich sie besuchte, war ein Schlachttierknochen, in die Luft zu werfen machte ihr sehr viel Spaß. An anderen Tagen spielt sie mit einem Leitkegel oder einer Kugel.
Lale takes a break and naps with mom
  Lale will stay at Bremerhaven for at least another year, and then the EEP plans to move her to a new large polar bear facility in Emmen, Netherlands, now under construction. The plan is that she would move there with other little girl bear cubs until they grow up. 

Lale wird in Bremerhaven für mindestens ein weiteres Jahr bleiben und dann hat die EEP geplant, sie zu einer neuen großen Eisbärenanlage nach Emmen, Niederlande zu verlegen ,diese Anlage ist noch im Bau. Der Plan ist, dass sie dort mit anderen kleinen weiblichen Bärenjungen gemeinsam aufwächst, bis sie erwachsen sein werden.

She likes her rawhide bone today, but on other days she plays endlessly with a traffic cone or a ball or some other special game.

The children who come to the zoo know all about Lale.
 She is a local celebrity.

But this year there is a birthday party for Lale at Zoo am Meer in Bremerhaven, with a special cake and lots of toys, and probably fireworks over the sea for the New Year.

Aber in diesem Jahr gibt es eine Geburtstagsparty für Lale am Zoo am Meer in Bremerhaven, mit einem speziellen Kuchen und jede Menge Spielzeug und Feuerwerk über dem Meer ist für das Neue Jahr wahrscheinlich.

Lale strikes a pose

Lale gives her mommy a kiss. Lale will stay with Valeska for one more year.

"I have my bone"

Bye By for now, says Lale
Thanks, Marga Andresen Gransow for the German translation.
Danke, Marga Andresen Gransow für die deutsche Übersetzung.