Friday, April 13, 2012

Splashing with Qannik

She just never stops moving. Little 15 month old Qannik, now at 253 pounds, is a little dynamo at Glacier Run at the Louisville Zoo. And when she is in the big habitat, she spends 80 percent of her time in the pool. The keepers keep track of her activity, moment to moment, and by far and away, she likes to spend her time swimming and diving.

Of course she has a grand time wherever she is. When she is in the smaller habitat, she never stops having fun. She runs up and down the stairs, and finds new and exciting ways to play with all her toys. The keepers are always hiding surprises for her too, as enrichment. And she likes playing in tubs of water and ice in the smaller habitat as well. But give her the big pool, and she is an Olympic swimmer and diver.

Here she is swimming with her favorite green horse ball that she got for her first birthday in January.

Buckets make great swim toys, even if they are a little bit used. She looks a little like an Angel here.

 She looks smaller in the water, but when she gets out, you can see how much she has grown. When Qannik was found abandoned in an oilfield in Alaska last spring, she only weighed 15 pounds. After being rescued, she lived at the Alaska Zoo for several months where she put on some pounds and made many friends, and then found a new home in Glacier Run at the Louisville Zoo in late June.

A view of Qannik's "water park"

An ice floe that never melts.

All this activity burns up a lot of calories! Qannik gets three main meals a day, consisting of meat, fish and polar bear biscuits, and bowls of polar bear milk formula. She also spends her time discovering treats hidden around her enclosure, in buckets, in jute bags, buried in hay and in other secret spots. She loves solving puzzles when it means she gets another snack. The keepers are always thinking up new ways to surprise this little girl bear.

Even in the smaller area, Qannik is never far from a tub of water or ice. Here she is with one of her many adoring fans.

That's Qannik, the pool girl at play.

Because the Louisville Zoo has three polar bears that have to be 
kept separate for now, and a family group of three grizzly bears, 
the zoo has an ever-changing rotation schedule, so Qannik 
moves around during the day. This variety of environments also 
is good for the bears, so they always have something new to do.

I will write more later about Siku and his grandmother Arki, and also about how the zoo staff keeps the environment exciting for all the bears. Also, more pictures of Qannik.


  1. Hej Molly,its incredible how fast this tiny fluffball has grown up :)) Amazing the surroundings,so much entertainment all day long-hearts desire for a special polar bear lady :)

    Hope it will not take that much longer to meet and greet with Siku,her firt lover boy ever ;)

    Hugs from Marga

  2. Dear Molly,
    Thank you so much for this lovely report! I'm glad to see sweet Qannik doing so fine. She certainly has grown a lot but she still is 'een kleenet Kind' as a certain German bear keeper would say....
    I'm looking forward to your next report and hope Siku will soon be together with Qannik.
    Bear hugs from Mervi

  3. Dear Molly Merrow

    Our friend KNUTI-JUDI just brought us your latest pictured article about QANNIK.
    What a pleasure to watch and read! Thank you very much. I really like the informative and unsentimental way of writing, even though showing an as big heart as clear mind.

    Best wishes


  4. Dear Molly,

    thank you so much for this delightful report.
    Quannik is a cute little polar bear girl, so curious, so playful.
    Siku will fall in love with her right wawy when they will be meeting each other
    I can't await more of your photos and reports.
    Best Regards


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thank you for your kind words, Caren. I am a big fan of KnutisWeekly too. It is a wonderful polar bear community, isn't it.

      There is so much more to say about Qannik and the other bears there, and the wonderful Louisville Zoo. I am working on the next report right now.

      Feel free to share anything I post with the readers of the KnutisWeekly Magazine.