Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Happy 12th Birthday to Qannik

 Once upon a time there was a little rescued polar bear named Qannik, who lived in the Louisville Zoo.

Qannik shortly after she arrived in Louisville in 2011.

Little Qannik back in mid-2011 in Louisville.

Well, that rescued little polar bear cub is now 12 years old, and weighs 550 pounds. She is very firm in her likes and dislikes. Does not want fish, but loves pumpkin. Loves to swim and hide things in her special hidey hole. Would rather sit in a window with her fans than do anything else.

The Louisville Zoo held their annual Qannik Birthday Party on Saturday, January 7, with lots of fans and well-wishers there to sing to the birthday girl. 

Keepers prop up the number 12 with some Christmas trees
for Qannik's celebration.

The keepers had prepared some ice bombes with pumpkin chunks and apple slices. They hid more pumpkin chunks in Christmas trees and decorated tissue boxes. They set out a lovely buffet for the birthday girl, and then they opened the door so she could descend the magical ramp and make a grand entrance like the Princess she is.

Qannik enters the "Party Zone"

                                  Quite the sweet buffet for the birthday girl.

Checking out the party buffet.

Qannik nods to her guests as they sing Happy Birthday to her.

Wow! Twelve years already!

Oh, some nice ice chunks!

Where to start?

Qannik wonders where the bartender might be.

The birthday girl can just help herself.

                                                                Blue or Pink?

                         Apples and Pumpkin chunks, yummy.


Looking for more...

Hey, I found another one.

By now, everyone knows the story of Qannik, the little rescued polar bear. She and her mother and sister were first noticed in the oil fields of the North Slope in January of 2011. Mother was collared and the cubs were given ear tags. The family was followed through the radio collar for a time, until it fell off the mom. In April, Qannik was found alone and starving, weighing just 15 pounds, probably separated from her mom and sister by a storm. No one really knows. 

Qannik was taken to the Alaska Zoo, where she was bottle-fed and pampered and recovered nicely from her ordeal. In late June, she was flown to the Louisville Zoo, where she was raised by loving keepers. 

And there she has lived in Louisville ever since. She has a deep diving pool where she has a lot of fun, and many toys, always something to do. There is another polar bear, an older male named Lee, and three grizzly bears, but while Qannik sees and smells them in the bedroom area, she is never with them.

Qannik still has the hole in her ear from the ear tag. Because she is property of Fish and Wildlife, she cannot be part of the breeding program, which is just fine with her because she likes being alone and the center of attention. She often sits by her window as her adoring fans admire her.

     An excellent 12th birthday party for Qannik, here resting 
                   in the overhead passage of Glacier Run.

Happy Birthday Qannik.

You have grown into a beautiful lady bear.

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