My second day in Aalborg Zoo: Thursday 6 June 2019 – Part 3

Aug 14th, 2019 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

14.8.2019 by Ralph Morton

After the wonderful time we had spent with the Polar Bears, Jeanette told us that we were going to have an additional treat as “friends” of the Zoo. She had arranged for us to go inside the Elephant House.

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The elephant we were going to meet and feed was “Bibi”.

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She was waiting patiently for us and the snacks we had been given by the keeper, after he had given us a detailed background talk about the elephants in Aalborg.

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Molly Merrow is just in this shot.

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Bibi used her trunk to great effect and could reach a long way from the doorway.

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I managed to get this shot of Bibi in action, an apple is about to vanish.

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I am grateful to Molly Merrow for allowing me to use her photographs of me and Bibi.I was impressed by the gentleness with which Bibi took her snacks. However, when I decided to feed her them more slowly, one at a time, Bibi used her trunk’s powerful “Fingers” to press my hand as if to say “faster please”.

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Back in the Predator House, the Tiger family were indoors. Mum kept an eye on the visitors, while her cubs played.

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The cubs were always exploring, and this little one in the sun watched us for a while.

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Aalborg Zoo looks after a large collection of apes and monkeys. The Baboon family, usually found outside in a large troop, were inside on this occasion and I got this shot of one of the old males relaxing while his females look after their children.

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I had brought some snacks with me for lunch and the Polar Bear girls were interested as usual.

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The glass is a great place to get up close to the girls, with a little help from my bag.

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A little later, Nuka and Quillak had settled down in the rocks where they could take in the sun and also keep an eye on anything happening in their neighbourhood. They are now almost the same size.

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Like their father Lars and mother Malik, the girls love using the boulders to stretch over.

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Like the terrain in Greenland or Svalbard, the boulder field exercises the Polar Bear’s agility and ability to move across rough ground.

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In the larger enclosure, Malik was keeping an eye on the girls, while Nord took a nap on a handy rock.

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As soon as Malik started to move, Nord woke up and prepared to follow her.

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Malik is usually on the move, and Nord had learnt to try and keep up with her.

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Malik enjoys resting on the shelf near the water so that she can immediately dive in if food appears.

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She is always alert, as a keeper might appear at any moment with a snack or toy. This simple method of not having set feeding times or places is a good way to keep Polar Bears more active and interested.

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Nord is a happy bear (I know Polar Bears have no expressions but his face seems relaxed and alert).

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Malik has always liked this corner. It was a favourite place to feed the girls. She has hollowed out a bed.

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As the afternoon went on, Nuka and Quillak were happy to relax.

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Malik decided to use her corner as a towel and dry her fur.

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Nord as usual was not far away and for a while they had a nap.

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However, Polar Bears are never totally asleep. Nord and Malik were soon awake again.

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It was clear that Nord was still hoping for a bit of “personal” time with Malik.

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He spent a lot of time getting as close to her as he could.

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Nord put in a lot of time watching Malik and hoping that she might take some interest in him.

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Nord did not seem to mind. As long as he was close to Malik he seemed happy and relaxed.

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From time to time Malik would give Nord an encouraging sniff. As the evening drew in both Nord and Malik were settling down.

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Malik has made herself a bed and pillow and is now nice and dry too.

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Nord was also getting ready for some sleep. So, Molly and I decided to leave the Polar Bears. It had been an eventful day.

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  1. Dear Ralph

    Thank you for the report from Aalborg.
    It was interesting to meet the elephant
    behind the scenes. The tiger kids are
    adorable. Maliks Mädels have grown
    a lot – where will they move later ?

    Greetings
    Chris

  2. Dear Ralph,

    I thought you had already experienced a lot in Aalborg but there was more to come …. Meeting Bibi so close must have been an experience you will never forget!

    The elephant lady looks so sweet and friendly. I’m sure she appreciated your treats to her.

    The tiger cubs are, naturally, very sweet, too!

    When I’m writing this I know you’ve visited the polar bears again. I guess they will already recognize you! 🙂

    Thank you so much for this lovely report!

    Hugs from Mervi

  3. Chris – If my memory serves me right Nuka and Quilaq will move to Pairi Daiza in Belgium.

  4. Dear Ralph!
    Again: what a great day you had!

    Giving treats to an elephant must have been quite another unforgettable adventure for you.
    From my own experience I know that the end of an elephant´s trunk is astonishing sturdy and a tool for many uses, comparable to our hands. Elephants are simply gorgeous and loveable. I love elephants and am happy for you that you had the possibility to meet friendly Bibi…

    Tiger cubs as all little big cats are simply adorable. One can´t but fall head over heels in love with them.

    Your observations around the polar bears are again interesting and show your strong attachment.
    All of them looked marvellous and relaxed.

    I hope you do enjoy your visit to the fullest by now.

    Hugs
    Anke

  5. Dear Ralph,
    it is a nice experience to feed the elephants.
    Hugs
    Ludmila

  6. Dear Ralph

    I’ve had a meeting like this with a lady elephant before. You only notice how small we humans are.

    Thank you very much for all the pictures.
    It is only a pity that the enclosures consists only of stones. Maybe that will change.

    Warm greetings,
    Anita

  7. ‘This time – in the beginning of this report I’ve got really green with envy:
    Feeding an elephant and being allowed to enter his/her/their residence is a dream;
    however, may be also a bit scaring if these gentle giants come a bit two near.
    But to touch them – even only through an apple in the hand: . . . awwww . . .!

    You are so lucky because of the friendship with MOLLY and JEANETTE:
    advantages and luck after advantages and luck!
    What a great photo of you with the friendly looking (quite big eyes!) elephant ‘hand in hand’ (Imagine!)
    so to say.
    – – –

    The polar bear girls were interested as usual – and your report and brought pics were interesting as usual, as well! . . . Thank you very much. . . It was nice to see MALIK and NORD so close together, even though NORD would certainly prefer even a bit closer . . . GOOD LUCK!

  8. Lieber Ralph,

    danke für den 3. Report aus Aalborg.

    Schön, dass Du in letzter Zeit außer die Eisbären, auch andere Tiere besuchst.

    Natürlich war es wieder etwas Besonderes die Elefanten zu füttern, und Du als Erinnerung auch noch schöne Fotos davon hast.

    Liebe Grüße, bis bald
    Monika

  9. dear Ralph,
    thank you so much for all your wonderful pictures from Aalborg.The bears are looking very good I am glad Nord and Malik can be together. when I see the girls I am a bit sad, their cosy childhood is over but it is good they can still be together. Bibi and you thiese pictures are great. I send many good wishes to the Aalborg animals
    dear greetings and big paw waves
    Filomena