Zoom Gelsenkirchen – My visit in April 2019

Jun 3rd, 2019 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

3.6.2019 by Ralph Morton

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I spent a morning in the Alaska world at Zoom Gelsenkirchen in April on the way to meet a friend in Dusseldorf. The tram stop has a series of animals from Zoom, including a Polar Bear, on its glass shelters.

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The cheerful Polar Bear mascot of Alaska World is represented near the Polar Bears by this life size wooden figure.

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The grand old lady of Zoom, Antonia, was my first call as usual. She was enjoying the morning sun and keeping a watchful eye on anyone nearby.

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With no one much around Antonia decided to have a short nap.

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As we know, Polar Bears are keen gardeners. This was the first time I had seen Antonia tending her grounds. As you can see, she takes her work very seriously.

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The gardening work made Antonia hungry, so she took the opportunity to eat some grass. This helps her digestion as well as being an enjoyable meal.

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Antonia was concentrating on eating and it gave me an opportunity for a close up of her very distinctive face.

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Although the grass was delicious, Antonia took time to check out my bag. However, she is a wise old bear and was soon back at the grass.

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Later on Antonia was fast asleep. It had been a busy morning. Polar Bears are always able to camouflage themselves and a passing visitor might not even notice her.

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Bill was fast asleep for most of the time I was there. He did go and see if Lara was at the partition a few times, but otherwise he was the most relaxed I have seen him. Lara and Nanook, her 16 month old cub, were in the water.

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It seems a long time since last year when little Nanook was being trained by Lara in the water. Now it is hard to tell them apart. Nanook is in the water here.

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Lara standing on the island with Nanook in the water shows how much Nanook has grown. There is not much left for Lara to teach her cub, but they still enjoy being with each other.

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Like all Polar Bears Lara still enjoys playing with barrels and buckets.

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Now of course she has competition from Nanook.

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Nanook like all Polar Bears has favourite resting spots in the water.

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Apart from containing my food and drink, my plastic shopping bag is a reliable way of attracting Polar Bears to the glass.

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Compared with the cub waiting patiently for Lara to check the bag out, Nanook is now confident enough to come across herself and examine me and the bag.

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Nanook is confident and curious. Lara has done a good job of rearing her daughter.

Another free advert for a leading UK supermarket. Nanook would like a sandwich too!

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It is such a shame that we cannot share lunch!

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Nanook soon realises that Zoo rules mean I cannot share with her, so she leaves

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Nanook is a good looking bear just like Lara and Bill. She has a distinctive marking on her nose.

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Just to remind you how small Nanook once was, here is a picture of her with Lara in December 2017. I am sure Lara would have liked my Ice Coffee and its symbol!

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Another free advert! The coffee was very welcome though.

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My last shot from this visit to Gelsenkirchen shows Lara and Nanook together.

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8 comments
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  1. Dear Ralph,

    I’m sure the nice signs at the bus stop put you in a real ‘polar bear mood’! 🙂 Even the figures in the zoo are very welcoming.

    I guess we all love Antonia! What a sweet little lady she is. You were lucky being able to observe her so close. She seems to be very interested in her ‘garden’ and makes sure it looks good. 🙂 Your shopping bag seems to interest all the polar bears! Even Antonia wanted check what that ‘thingie’ is.

    Antonia even knows how to be a polar bear ‘under cover’. Just like you wrote – I’m sure many visitors didn’t even notice her lying on the sand. 🙂 What a clever lady!

    All the male polar bears can take it very easy when their lady companion is taking care of their cub. Even Bill lives his bachelor life ‘lazing on a sunny afternoon’. Do you remember that song by the Kinks? 🙂

    Nanook is now almost as big as Lara but for for her mama she’s still a baby. Both ladies are looking very healthy and beautiful. I love your photos – especially the close-ups of their faces.

    Lara has been a god mother and soon Nanook has passed the examination in her polar bear school.

    Thank you so much for this very entertaining report!

    Hugs from Mervi

  2. Lieber Ralph,

    wie immer ist auch dein Besuch im Gelsenkirchener Zoo wieder liebevoll beschrieben.
    NatĂŒrlich ist Antonia nach wie vor unser aller Liebling und ich hoffe,
    dass sie das Alleinsein wie Kati in Berlin genießt.

    Deine Provianttasche ist fĂŒr alle BĂ€ren immer ein Hingucker und es ist wirklich schade,
    dass du ihren Inhalt nicht mit den BĂ€ren teilen kannst.
    Nannook ist groß geworden und wird hoffentlich noch eine Weile bei ihrer Mutter bleiben
    können. Ich weiß nicht, ob sie schon fast zwei Jahre ist.

    Vielen Dank fĂŒr deinen schönen Bericht und liebe GrĂŒĂŸe!
    Britta-Gudrun

  3. Thank you very much dear Ralph.
    Best wishes to Antonia, Bill, Lara and Nanook.

  4. Dear Ralph!
    Thank you for the informative and entertaining report of your visit in the Alaska World of the Gelsenkirchen Zoo.

    Sweet Antonia is for sure one of a kind and everybodyÂŽs darling. I wish her all the best and a long, happy and healthy life. How heart-warming that she discovered the joy of gardening like many other polar bears.

    Lara and her daughter still enjoy their togetherness and I hope that would last a while longer.
    Nanook turned into a young beauty and the zoo must be very proud of her.

    In regard to Bill, not only a dirty but also a sleeping bear is a happy bear…

    Hugs
    Anke

  5. It’s very nice and interesting to see ‘little ANTONIA’ in action and in full relaxation likewise.

    Interesting: the typical way polar bears show their interest for certain items at the visitors’ windows: turning their back towards them/the visitors and rubbing their head and back at the glass . . .

    Like the memory picture of the information board about baby NANOOK together with the ‘BĂ€renmarke icecoffee cardbox’ and that of LARA together with her baby, as much as this with them in the last picture during your latest ZOOM-visit.

    Fine observations agin, Mr RALPH. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks, dear MERVI for the ditorial part of the report in ‘KWM’.

  6. Lieber Ralph,
    die Zoom Welt in Gelsenkirchen ist immer eine Reise wert. Besonders fĂŒr BĂ€renfans wird hier alles gezeigt.
    NatĂŒrlich ist die kleinwĂŒchsige Antonia der absolute Star, obwohl sie schon eine Ă€ltere Dame ist wirkt sie
    fĂŒr alle einfach nur niedlich.
    Lara und Nanook sorgen fĂŒr die Aktionen und Bill kann gar nicht verstehen wieso er alleine ist.
    Ich hoffe, dass Nanook noch lange bei ihrer Mutter bleiben kann und ihren Spieltrieb so richtig mit ihr ausleben kann.
    Danke dir, war wieder sehr informativ dein Besuch bei den EisbÀren.
    Liebe GrĂŒĂŸe Moni K

  7. Lieber Ralph,
    vielen Dank fĂŒr deinen ausfĂŒhrlichen Bericht mit den schönen Fotos aus Gelsenkrichen. Antonia bleibt wohl immer der Star, obwohl sie schon Ă€lter ist.
    Bear Hugs
    Gudrun

  8. Lieber Ralph,,

    jetzt komme ich endlich dazu, mir Deine Bilder aus Gelsenkirchen anzusehen.
    Antonia zu sehen ist immer wieder schön. Sie ist wirklich eine sĂŒĂŸe BĂ€rin.
    Ich denke das alleine sein macht ihr nichts aus; sie ist es ja gewohnt. Hauptsache es geht ihr gut. Und danach sieht es aus.

    Schöne Bilder auch von Lara und Nanook, die mÀchtig gewachsen ist.

    Bill will wahrscheinlich auch wieder zu Lara, aber das geht noch nicht. Er kann sich aber glĂŒcklich schĂ€tzen, dass er nicht zum ReisebĂ€r, wie Felix und nun auch Wolodja, wird.

    Liebe GrĂŒĂŸe
    Monika