|Qannik has grown into a water lover|
|Qannik in her early days at the Louisville Zoo|
|Little Qannik not long after her arrival at the Louisville Zoo.|
|Qannik was hand raised, first at the Alaska Zoo and later at the Louisville Zoo.|
After several months recovering and gaining weight at the Alaska Zoo, she was flown to the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky, where she still lives and swims and plays.
|Qannik this summer. She has slimmed down quite a bit|
Qannik has come a long way from the little fluffball I first visited in the early fall of 2011. Now she is a sleek young lady bear of seven and a half years old.
|Qannik this summer|
Since her friend Siku left for Chicago, Qannik has been the only polar bear in Louisville, but she shares the habitat, alternating with a family of grizzly bears.
|Qannik comes up the steps from the moat|
|Young Siku at the ramp at Glacier Run in 2013|
|Qannik loves those hunks of wood. They float!|
The Louisville Zoo is a pioneer in rotating habitats as a way of adding enrichment and excitement for the animal residents.
|Qannik peers into the hidey hole in her underwater playground. |
She left a treasure in there, apparently.
|Investigating the contents of the secret hiding place...|
For a time, Qannik was slowing down, having put on maybe a little too much weight. She was sleeping more and playing less. But now she has slimmed down and has plenty of energy to swim.
|A piece of driftwood, just right for hiding in the secret hole. |
If she doesn't get it jammed in just right, it will float up again.
|She loves her drifwood.|
|Big enough to play with, but too big to hide.|
Glacier Run is designed to give the bears plenty of climbing opportunities. There are stairs and ramps so the bears keep those back leg muscles strong.
|Qannik peeks up to see if her keepers have some treats to throw down.|
The big pool is especially great for visitors, with a huge window for prime underwater viewing, and many side windows around the enclosure.
|Diving after her prize driftwood.|
|The underwater viewing area at Glacier Run gives a fantastic view |
of Qannik's underwater adventures.
|Churning up the bubbles.|
|Face to face, underwater.|
|Qannik plays with the underside of an artificial iceberg.|
She has soooo many toys.
|Qannik views her visitors.|
|Qannik looks cute and fluffy,|
but here you can see the size of her polar bear teeth.
|Pacing a bit|
|A bit of a neck twist, as Qannik turns in her pacing routine.|
|Qannik on the move|
Later on Qannik was inside in Polar Bear Alley, and mostly napping.
|Qannik is given a variety of bedding materials,|
with different textures and scents, for enrichment.
|Qannik posing for the paparazzi.|
|Qannik lounging around|
|Qannik close up.|
One of her ears still has the hole from being tagged when she was a tiny cub.
|Qannik stretches some more.|