Tierpark Berlin Tonya and Volodya

May 3rd, 2018 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

3.5.2018 by Ralph

Monika aus Berlin was able to take some wonderful photos of Tonya and Volodya playing together on Sunday. I also took some videos on my phone. However, these pictures will give you some idea of how close the two bears still are. Tonya of course is the one in charge. Volodya has learned that he must accept this, and does so like a gentlebear. We know how badly he misses her when she is not around.

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This photo gives an idea of how much bigger than Tonya, Volodya is. She of course is more agile and cleverer.

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Volodya was delighted to find that Tonya wanted to play with him again.

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This closeness between male and female bear can only occur for a few weeks in the wild. In Zoos, however, the relationship becomes much close and more intense. Perhaps this may one day also happen in the Arctic.

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Opening and closing the mouth to sniff and taste is a key means for Polar Bears to communicate. We can only guess what messages they are exchanging. Great trust is required on both sides.

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Volodya is showing how much he respects Tonya. This is the submissive position which says how much he loves her as a partner.

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My last sight in the evening of Volodya and Tonya. I spent at least half an hour watching them like this in the late evening sun. I can think of no better way of spending my time.

I hope German readers will accept me using the English form of Russian names. I have never forgotten the first time a newsreader in Britain announced that a little bear called “Nut” (Knut-Canoot in English) had been born in Berlin Zoo. My mother and I thought it was very sweet.

Unlike my other reports, I was not able to get really close to the two Polar Bears in the Tierpark. Fortunately Monika aus Berlin was with me, and will be doing a proper photo story about our visit on Sunday 22 April soon.

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Volodya is a impressive male already and will one day be as large or larger than Troll.

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Like Troll, Volodya is never happier than when he is curled up asleep. He would of course like Tonya to be snuggled up beside him.

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In the water, Volodya is relaxed and playful. This shot shows what a lovely hot sunny day we had.

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Volodya and Tonya has been adopted by the Berliner Eisbaeren Hockey team. I think their mascot looks more like Troll, who they also adopted.

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Monika aus Berlin took this photo for me that shows how big Volodya will be when he is fully grown.

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  1. Dear Ralph,

    We can see the same pattern in almost all polar bear ‘marriages’ – the males are real gentlebears while the ladies rule and certainly have a mind of their own. Tonya and Volodya are good examples of this. 🙂

    Directly after the mating period Tonya prefers her ‘privacy’ but let’s hope she will soon be playing with Volodya again.

    I think, too, that Troll has posed for the Eisbären Berlin’s logotype. 🙂

    When we look at a tiny newborn polar bear cub it’s hard to believe it will grow to a mighty giant!

    Thank you so much for this entertaining report!

    Hugs from Mervi

  2. Lieber Ralph

    Wolodja und Tonja verstehen sich
    sehr gut. 🙂 Die Eisbären haben
    leider gegen München verloren.

    Grüße Chris

  3. Dear Ralph,
    it is great that Tonja and Wolodja were playing in the water together. I hope they will have the nice time in summer together.
    Wolodja is a big bear, I think he will grow in the next years to the huge male.

  4. Thanks Ralph, wonderful to see the two together. I am glad to read, that you have had such a nice stay.
    Hugs Inge

  5. That’s again a good mixture between mere information and very personal impressions and opinions.
    Thank you. I liked your remark that watching sleeping bears in the evening sun is the best way to spend your time. . . I believe also MERVI said comparable things already several times.

    Even though I really like any of your reports, I have to admit I am looking forward to getting to read and watch ‘MONIKA de BERLIN’s photo story about your visit on Sunday April 22nd, 2018 in TIERPARK BERLIN (you probably know why 😉 ).

    The demonstration of the difference in size of human beings and polar bears is impressively demonstrated by MONIKA’s beautiful shot showing you beside this huge stuffed/cardboard(??) polar bear in the TIERPARK.

    – – –

    ‘CANOOT’ really gave me a brought smile. Without your explanation I would never had dreamed of the with this name our KNUT could be meant! . . . It only makes sense for ‘stupid Germans’ when reading it aloud! 😉

  6. . . would have dreamed THAT with this . . .

  7. Lieber Ralph,

    vielen Dank für deinen ausführlichen Bericht über Wolodja und Tonya.
    Du hast eine sehr gute Beobachtungsgabe und vor allem viel Geduld
    und Fachwissen, das Bärenverhalten zu interpretieren.

    Vielleicht duldet Tonya ihren Freund in etwas mehr Nähe beim
    Spielen und Schwimmen.

    Herzliche Grüße

  8. Dear Ralph!
    Thank you for your pleasant report and the beautiful and special pics!
    I´m happy for you that you had such a nice stay in Berlin.
    All polar bears were good tempered and it seemed they gave their best to entertain you and the other visitors.

    As I said before your photographs appear sunny, bright and very lively with playing bears in glittering water. Although it´s still spring they look if they were taken on a hot summer´s day. Actually it was quite hot and sunny on that special April weekend.

    Everytime when I see the standee of the big male polar bear in the Tierpark I´m asking myself if it is a bit overdone. You are not a small man but you´re looking tiny beside this mighty bear…

    Unfortunately I´m worried about Kati and Wolodja in the nearer future when Tonya and Wolodja have to be separated. I hope everything goes smoothly and none of the bears has to suffer!


  9. Lieber Ralph,

    ich war in den letzten Tagen viel unterwegs, und komme daher erst heute dazu, hier zu schreiben.
    Es war wirklich ein schöner und langer Tag im Tierpark, und Tonja und Wolodja waren genauso gut drauf wie Kati.

    Wenn Du das nächste Mal nach Berlin kommst, wirst Du Kati und Wolodja im Zoo sehen können.

    Wir haben ja diesmal einen langen Tierpark-Rundgang gemacht, und viele andere Tiere besucht, auch unsere Bambis. Es war sehr schön.

    ich habe gerade meinen Bericht vom gesamten Tierpark-Besuch fertig, und in Knutitis eingestellt.

    Wolodja soll schon Mitte diesen Monats in den Zoo kommen. Nicht nur ich finde, dass das sehr früh ist. Vor allem wo Tonja und Wolodja sich noch sehr gut verstehen. Sie spielen viel zusammen, und kuscheln gemeinsam im Mulch. Es gibt auch mal einen Tag, wo sie sich nicht viel zu sagen haben. Aber sie verstehen sich noch sehr gut.

    Liebe Grüße

  10. Liebe Monika!
    Danke für die Info!
    Du kennst meine Einstellung zu all dem und ich muss mich zurückhalten, um hier nicht allzu deutlich zu werden.
    Uns bleibt nur, diese Entscheidung hinzunehmen, gutheißen muss man sie nicht…
    Ich mache mir Sorgen.

    Liebe Grüße

  11. Lieber Ralph,
    prima, dass Du und Monika einen so schönen Tag im Tierpark Berlin hattet. Gern wäre ich dabei gewesen. Das Foto mit Dir und dem ausgewachsenen Eisbären, das Monika ‘geschossen’ hat, ist eine zusätzliche tolle Erinnerung an diesen so wunderbaren Tag.
    Liebe Grüße von

  12. dear Ralph,
    thank you for your interesting report and for all the wonderful pictures from Tierpark. I can imagine how you enjoyed the visit together with Monika on your side. Tonya and Wolodja were in a good playing mood.
    dear greetings and bis paw waves to England

  13. Lieber Ralph,
    Vielen Dank für deinen wieder sehr interessanten Bericht von Tonja und Wolodja!
    Auch bin ich gar nicht glücklich über die Mitteilung, daß Wolodja wieder umziehen muß.
    Liebe Grüße Moni K