Copenhagen in June 2019: Polar Bears and other animals

Jul 15th, 2019 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

15.7.2019 by Ralph Morton, Dedicated to Inge from Copenhagen

On Saturday I was very fortunate that Inge came to see me to show me her home zoo. I wish I had had more time to spend with her, but my flight home was in the afternoon rather than the evening (British Airways seems to leave the late flight to SAS).

I have never seen a Tasmanian Devil live before, but a friend of my parents always used to talk about them from his frequent visits to Australia. Sadly as you can read here they are very endangered.


I was amazed to find that Copenhagen has a little colony. They hide in the undergrowth, but when they do move they are hard to follow with the phone camera. Wikipedia gives the reason for the Tasis living in Copenhagen:

The “Tasmania”section is unique to Copenhagen Zoo. The section was started after the wedding of Frederik, the Crown Prince of Denmark and the Tasmanian native Mary Donaldson in 2004, where the Tasmanian government gifted four Tasmanian devils to the zoo. These were the first Tasmanian devils to live outside of Australia. For several years, Copenhagen Zoo was the only zoo outside Australia that had Tasmanian devils. They bred for the first time in Copenhagen Zoo in 2013 and the two females gave birth to a total of seven young.

The area has since been expanded with a combined area for red-necked wallabies, Eastern grey kangaroos and common wombats. Parts of this area is also accessible by visitors, allowing kangaroos and people to cross paths.

Inge and I also saw the other Australian animals mentioned above.


The elephant’s enclosure

Walking under the main road next to the Zoo we found an amazing Savannah. Including Giraffe and a lovely large group of Rhinos.


Like Berlin, Copenhagen has a modern purpose built house for hippos. However, unlike Berlin where they always seem to be hiding in the water, I was able to photo the family on land.


This special life-size graphic explains how hippos do not swim in the water, but bounce along! The little girl shows how big a hippo is (the size of a car!)

Inge also showed me round the elaborate home for the elephants, but the light prevented me taking photos. Fortunately there is an interesting page by the architects who designed the house.

Like Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Copenhagen is part of the programme to breed Amur (Siberian) tigers and leopards in captivity. We saw them but I was not close enough to capture a good shot.

Whereas the Panda Garden in Zoo Berlin has a strong Chinese flavour (like some of the other houses in the Zoo which reflect the places the animals come from), Copenhagen has opted for a very Scandinavian solution. The excellent website above is well worth a look.

Unfortunately the pandas were not doing much, so I decided it was time to go back to the Polar Bears. Sadly this also meant leaving Inge too.




As if to show why Pandas cannot really compete with Polar Bears, Imaq allowed me to film how a Polar Bear swims, using her front legs as paddles and tucking up her back legs.



Lynn always finds time to play in the water with Imaq, and both bears enjoy themselves.



Mother and daughter play well together and Imaq likes to stay close to Lynn.


Looking after Imaq is quite demanding, so Lynn enjoys a break whenever she can.


It is rare to see Imaq resting, but she does sometimes. 🙂





The sun broke through and the water glistened. I also seemed to be able to get Imaq’s attention by calling “Baby Bear” when she came near in the water.




All too soon it was time to go, but on the way out, Noel was being fed by the keeper and showed how relaxed she was now that Nord had left for Aalborg. Noel really likes the keepers and as long as they are nearby I am sure she will not mind being in her old small enclosure. Memo to Copenhagen Zoo: Mulch bed for Noel!

Back on my first day, after a couple of Winter visits to Denmark, I managed to visit the famous Tivoli when it was open and had a lovely evening enjoying the gardens, though I steered clear of the exciting rides and stayed firmly on the ground.


They also play an important part in the Christmas celebrations there.


I had been joined as usual by a Polar Bear from the Zoo shop and we enjoyed the evening sitting by the water.

Copenhagen had one last present. Teddybaerenmutti and vati had introduced me to bears made by Bukowski of Stockholm and in one the many shops (full of various bears) this little bear joined the trip.


Sadly his larger brother had to stay behind. Perhaps a Knut fan in Copenhagen may find him and take him home. I forgot to make a note of the name of the shop. Perhaps if I go back to Copenhagen and he is still in Tivoli….

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  1. Dear Ralph,

    Having a local guide always makes a zoo visit a very special experience. Inge has been our guide many, many times in Copenhagen …. 🙂

    The Tasmanian devils sure don’t look like devils – but they’re very good to hide themselves. Only once I’ve managed to see one of them!

    The elephants have a very nice enclosure and the savannah area is a good home for many of the zoo’s animals.

    What nice colours there are in many of your photos of Imaq and Lynn in the water! I even love the photo of the sleeping (?) Imaq. We can only see her back and her cute little paw but oh, it’s so lovely!

    Nöel is used to the old enclosure but just like you I hope the keepers will prepare a mulch bed for her!

    Thank you so much for the ‘grand finale’ of your reports from Copenhagen. A little bird whispered that there may be more in late August ….. 🙂

    Hugs from Mervi

  2. This time, dear RALPH, I am under the impression you could offer your article easily to any newspaper giving an abstract about the COPENHAGEN ZOO: so well explained with useful LINKs. . . And this time you was even as lucky as to meet als NOEL in BEARson. Nice to see how her keeper looks so affectionally down to her!

    May I stress again the point how interesting I find all your observations you make on any of the animals and especially on LYNN and IMAC as individuals as well as mother-daughter-team? . . No. I don’t think so. . .You know it very well by now. Don’t you!?

    Thank you very much for this new report.

    Greetings also to INGE aus COPENHAGEN who for sure gave you nice company and good information as well.

    Didn’t I see in the second pic of yours from NOEL that she has already Mulch there or is it soemthing different or is it too few stuff to serve as a cozy bed??

  3. Dear Ralph,
    Tasmanian Devils are very interesting animals. Now they live in the zoos in Europa too.
    It is great that you met Noel too.

  4. Dear Dumba,

    When Ralph visited Copenhagen Nöel was still in the new enclosure which is much cosier than the old. Luckily Nöel seems to be quite comfortable even in the less nice enclosure ….

  5. Dear Ralph!
    Thank you for the latest part of your report from your trip to the Copenhagen Zoo!
    I´m happy for you that the weather was fine – “The sun broke through and the water glistened.” – and you had a competent and well-informed guide in Inge and saw some more animals than your beloved polars…

    Beside your affectionate photos and subtitles with regard to the polar bears I loved the pics with the big group of white rhinos and the relaxed hippos. Congratulation, you could even see a Tasmanian devil live!

    I don´t agree that the Berlin Hippos are always hiding in the water. When the weather fits our hippos often lie on the meadow behind the house. They can go in and out whenever they like. In summertime they are fed there. But of course you have to leave Kati´s enclosure for a few minutes to see them… 😉

    On photo No.9 Lynn and Imaq seemed to dance with each other in the glittering water.
    After being scared of the ditch when she was a small cub Imaq obviously is a passionate swimmer now.
    I´m happy for the bears they are on the bigger enclosure now ! How nice you even saw Noel. She looks great.

    To put it charitably I was irritated by the beheaded polar bears for Christmas…


  6. Thank you very much dear Ralph.
    Best wishes to Imaq, Lynn, Noel and the other animals in Copenhagen Zoo.

  7. Lieber Ralph!

    Danke für die tollen Bilder aus Copenhagen! Lynn und Imaq sind ein tolles Gespann und das Kleine Teufelchen ist wirklich allerliebst.

    Liebe Grüße, Erika

  8. To RALPH:

    QUOTE of NKE B’s statment:
    “I don´t agree that the Berlin Hippos are always hiding in the water. When the weather fits our hippos often lie on the meadow behind the house. They can go in and out whenever they like. In summertime they are fed there. But of course you have to leave Kati´s enclosure for a few minutes to see them… “.

    It would be very interesting for you – I am sure about that! – should you spend a bit time at the hippos’ enclosure (there are also Nyalas and Nil geese!) and see how they get real RED skin when lying in the plein sun! 🙂

  9. Dear Dumba and Anke

    You are of course right about the outdoor enclosure. I have taken photos there often myself. I meant to contrast the indoor pool, where they are usually submerged.

  10. Lieber Ralph,
    Tasmanische Teufel sind gar nicht sooo teuflisch, ihre Jungtiere sind genauso süß wie andere Tierbabys.
    Ist sehr außergewöhnlich sie in einem Zoo zu sehen und ich wünsche dem Zoo in Kopenhagen die Sensation
    einer Nachzucht.
    Die Eisbären fühlen sich wohl und das ist die Hauptsache, ob neues oder altes Gehege.
    Vielen Dank, für einen weiteren interessanten Bericht aus Kopenhagen.
    Liebe Grüße Moni K

  11. Lieber Ralph,

    schön, dass Du mit Inge gemeinsam in den Zoo gehen konntest.

    Ich habe übrigens auch noch keine tasmanischen Teufel live gesehen, obwohl ich zweimal in Australien war. Aber ich finde, sie sehen niedlich aus, obwohl sie Ratten ähnlich sehen.

    Die Elefanten-Anlage sieht sehr schön aus.

    Schön zu sehen, dass es Noel, Lynn und Imaq gut gehen.

    Liebe Grüße auch an Inge