Today, elderly European Brown Bear Susi, best known as mother of the famous hybrid twins Tips and Taps, has ended her journey. At age 38, she was blind, and suffered from heart complications. In addition her mobility was greatly limited.
Susi was greatly treasured by Zoo Osnabrück, where she arrived in 1980 as a cub, along with her sister Ossi. She lived there almost her entire life, sharing an enclosure with her sister, a male brown bear, and a pair of polar bears, Sonja and Elvis.
Sussi gave birth, surprise! in January of 2004 to hybrid bears, a cross between European brown bear and polar bear. Elvis was the father. The zoo had not thought that this was possible at the time. But there they were, silvery little cubs. It was a bit of a scandal at the time, but zoo visitors were enchanted by these beautiful little bears.
|The sign posted outside Susi's enclosure in recent years|
Translation of the German sign:
Why does the bear live in this back area?
Our old brown bear Susi was born was born in 1979 and is thus very important.
Because of this age, she is almost blind and only a little mobile.
She feels much safer in a restricted area and can always retire to the interior when she needs her rest.
|Tips and Taps in happier days|
Tips was so silvery and beautiful
|The sign at Tips and Taps' enclosure, telling bout the Hybrid Bears.|
|Taps, the darker of the twins, plays with a ball.|
|Sadly, Tips escaped from her enclosure in spring of 2017 on a busy Sunday, and had to be shot.|
|Taps and Tips|
|Elvis, born in Memphis, Tennessee, was the father of the hybrid bear cubs.|
|The silver fox enclosure next to the hybrid bears,|
where Tips was able to escape.
|Now Taps alone of the family survives.|
|Taps can still be visited at the Zoo Osnabrück|