|Nika, such a beauty|
We lost Nika today. She spent most of her life in Karlruhe, where she had a good life, with sand and grass in which to roll, and good friends with whom to play.
Today was her 19th birthday.
Some time ago, she injured her right back leg, and the wound would not heal. She would lick and chew on it, and made it worse, even though the zoo veterinarians did everything they could to bring her back to health. Recently the infection became much worse, and she had to be euthanized.
|Nika watches over a sleeping Larissa|
She and her twin brother Lloyd were born in Vienna to Olinka and the late Eric on November 27, 2000. Nika came to Karlsruhe when she was a little over a year old, and had lived there ever since. Nika's twin brother Lloyd went to live in Bremerhaven in Zoo am Meer.
Olinka and Erik went on to have many other cubs. Olinka lives in Rotterdam, and Erik died a few years ago.
|Nika and Larissa|
Nika and Lloyd descended from an American family of bears. Olinka's father was Omaha, son of Olaf and Olga of the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha Nebraska.
|The three bears playing in the grassy area. Nika is in the center|
For most of her time in Karlsruhe, she lived with Vitus, who is the same age as Nika, and Larissa, who is a decade older. Nika and Larissa never did have cubs. It was discovered in recent years that Vitus is sterile.
|The three bears having a stand-off. Nika is at left, leading the way|
The three bears got along very well, sometimes having little play fights for fun. The two girls took naps together.
|The three bears|
Vitus and Larissa moved to Neumunster a couple of years ago, and Kap moved in with Nika. Now Kap is all alone again.
|Larissa and Nika|
She was a lovely bear, and I know her keepers are heartbroken.
We will miss you, Nika.
|The three bears playing Ring around the Rosy in the sandpit, |
in the glory days. Nika is at left.