|Big loaves of bread make great floating toys in their pool,|
and then you can eat the bread.
|One of the girls with a delicious fish|
Nivi and Elva are adorable and active little polar bear cubs, and they want to play. Here they are, six months old. Their Dutch zoo does not believe in giving them buckets and balls and barrels and traffic cones with which to play, so they have their fun with their food.
|Frimas is a great mom. This is her third set of twins|
Their mother Frimas, now raising her third set of twins in Dierenrijk in Nuenen, the Netherlands, was born in the Canadian wilds in 2002, and rescued as an orphaned cub. She lived in zoos in Quebec and Calgary in those early months, then Zoo Sauvage in St. Felicien for seven years. Frimas flew across the ocean in 2011 and came to Nuenen, where she met Henk. A year later she gave birth to Pixel and Noordje in November of 2012. Pixel is now at Yorkshire Wildlife Park in Great Britain, where he lives with his grandfather Victor and two other young male bears. Noordje is in Emmen in the Netherlands with three other young female bears.
|Frimas with Nicky and Simona in 2016|
Three years later, Frimas gave birth to Nicky and Simona, first thought to be twin boys, and even named after a famous Dutch singing duo, but later deemed to be girls. These sisters now live together in Hermival-les0Vaux zoo in Normandy, France.
Now she is raising Nivi and Elva, who are definitely tested and chipped as girls.
|Frimas with Nivi and Elva|
Henk, the father of all three sets of twins, was born in November of 2005 in Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen, the Netherlands, not far from Nuenen. He was one of a rare set of triplets, born to Huggies and Victor. His sister Ewa lives in Sweden now, and his brother Jelle lives in St. Felicien, Canada, and has just fathered two cubs himself with two different mothers. Cousins!
|Father Henk. He has a nice big enclosure next door, with a big pond.|
|Mother polar bears have great patience|
|The announcement of names|
|Nivi and Elva are so similar, |
they cannot be told apart except by the chip reader
|Still napping, almost ready to play|
|Time to wake up|
|Here we go, chasing around the meadow|
|Ready to pounce|
In Nuenen, without toys, the cubs play with each other or with their mom. They wrestle, they throw around sticks and clumps of grass.
|Playing with clumps of grass|
And they play with their food.
|Lunch has arrived. Fish, vegetables and lots of bread loaves|
The third viewing window is currently inaccessible because of Rhino construction. It is still nice to walk down to where the path ends, though, because when you walk through the magical owl tunnel, where you are surrounded by a lush habitat occupied by over a dozen owls, mostly snowy owls.
|Waiting for lunch|
|Frimas knows it is time|
|Something for everyone. You can see the Rhino construction here |
behind the polar bear meadow
|Bread loaves make perfect floating toys|
|Share with mom?|
|She loves her loaf. It is a pool toy|
|Tug of war|
|What are you doing, Sis?|
|Fishing at poolside|
|Let me help|
|Good bread. Enough for everyone.|
|Taking a big bite|
|Cubs treat the bread as prey, playing with it|
|She tries to get in onto land|
|Don't let it get away|
|Here comes Frimas|
|Mom will help|
|There's more bread|
|Someone found the fish|
|Snack sized fish|
|Using both front paws|
|Not getting away|
|Just the tail left|
|One of the cubs tries to steal from mom|
|Fishing out the melon|
|Will Mom share?|
|Henk savors the flavor|
|Not a toy, just a good snack for Henk|
|Do you want some?|
|You can't have mine! says Henk|
|Yawn. I'm tired. Frimas and the cubs take a nap|
|Time for a rest.|