My final day in Aalborg Zoo: Saturday 16 August

Oct 26th, 2019 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

26.10.2019 by Ralph Morton



Next door to the Polar Bear enclosure in Aalborg Zoo is the Predator House where the tigers and lions live. Throughout my visit I popped in at intervals to see the animals there, but the thick bars made it difficult to photograph them. On my final day I was lucky and one of the rare Sumatran Tiger cubs came close enough to the bars.


Nuka and Quillak were already playing in the water when I arrived. In this photo you can see that Quillak is slightly larger than her sister.


One of the Polar Bears’ toys is a big green ball which has survived several years of hard play by Malik and her girls.


The favourite toy during my visit was the tube. Polar Bears seem to enjoy throwing things into the air and manipulating them. This may be part of the way in which they kill their prey.


Any hole seems to be a reason for a Polar Bear to insert its nose. Here the girls demonstrate.


The tube is big enough for a whole cub head to go in. This seems to be a right of passage for Aalborg cubs as previous cubs have also been photographed like this. Still it remains a fun shot.


The girls play together and seem content to share toys most of the time.


The tube was coming in for some extensive investigation.


The hollow tube really works as a Polar Bear toy.


The viewing glass areas in Aalborg are generously spaced and usually very clean. The enclosure works well for both visitors and Polars. The level of the water had been reduce somewhat to allow one of the windows to be checked for damage. Security is vital.


The combination of toys seems to be another Polar Bear speciality.


There were a lot of visitors on Saturday and the cubs always want to take a closer look. On this occasion the tube was brought along too.


In this shot you can see the skin at the edge of the cub’s ears is still exposed.


Natural playthings are also provided. Sticks and branches are always popular.


After a long period of play it was time for a nap in the place where Malik used to feed the two girls.


Malik was taking advantage of the boulders to shield her from Nord while she looked for treats.


Nord seemed to have a hangover. Perhaps BN and Uncle Sergej had invited him for drink last night.


Nord liked the underground den which various bears seem to have dug underneath the boulders. He had emerged to take a look around.


Nord decided in the afternoon that he would sleep half in and half out of his den in case he could catch Malik.


He then decided to come out and I could see the entrance to his den.

Nord has arrived in Skandinaviske Dyrepark – Video

Although I had to say goodbye to a sleeping Nord, thanks to Facebook we can see him safely at home in the Scandinavian Park.


Quillak was also taking an afternoon nap in the other place where Malik used to feed her and Nuka.


Nuka was resting close to the window.




Sadly it was all too soon time for me to go home. To my delight, Nuka was at the glass and seemed to be keen to have a head rub with me.


For nearly three years I had been able to get as close as possible to Nuka and Quillak. Now it was time to say goodbye as by the end of the year the girls were expected to be in their new home in Belgium.

On Saturday afternoon 17 August it was time after three visits this year to say goodbye to the girls, perhaps for the last time. I think this was Nuka (no longer Muddy Paws!). We had a long time together, and some of it was captured on my phone

Posted by Ralph Morton on Monday, September 23, 2019


Thanks to the miracles of modern technology I have a video of my goodbye with Nuka.

However, as certain other events have shown this year, it is not over until it is over. Perhaps the girls will not move to Belgium and might still be in Aalborg next year. Or better still, they will move to Belgium and I will be able to stop over there and see them in their new home. Even though they will be further away and not able to greet me so close, I will not mind as they will be on their way to being grown up Polar Bears in a well designed park home.

Share |

Leave a comment »

  1. Lieber Ralph,

    bei den letzten Fotos und Videos hat man wirklich den Eindruck, als ob
    die zwei Youngsters richtig Abschied von dir nehmen.
    Von dir, ihrem Freund und Besucher Ralph, der viel Zeit an ihren Gehegn verbracht hat
    und uns mit genauen Beschreibungen, Hinweisen und Fotos die Verhaltensweisen
    und Besonderheiten der Eisbären erklärt und beschreibt.
    Das dritt letzte Bild ist deshalb auch ganz besonders berührend!
    Die Fotos mit der Röhre liebe ich besonders, weil die Bären mit ihnen
    auf so vielfältige Weise agieren.

    Für Nord freue ich mich, dass er in seinem neuen Zuhause auch Naturboden hat
    und von den Mitbewohnern sehr freundlich und interessiert begrüßt wurde.

    Vielleicht bleiben Nuka und Quilak ja noch eine Weile in Aalborg oder du kannst sie
    irgendwann in Belgien besuchen.

    Vielen herzlichen Dank für deine tollen Berichte und großartige Beschreibungen
    über das Aufwachsen der Zwillinge in Aalborg!

    Herzliche Grüße

  2. Dear Ralph,

    Thanks to your visits in Aalborg we’ve been able to follow Malik and her twin daughters – and even Nord while he was staying in Aalborg.

    The ‘good bye photos’ are very touching – especially the one with your hand against Nuka’s cheek. Well, there was a glass between but I’m sure this moment will always be one of your sweetest memories.

    I wish Nuka and Quilak all the best and hope they will be happy in their future home. I’m sure Nord is doing fine in the Skandinaviske Dyrepark. There’s plenty of space and many polar bear friends, too. – I had a good laugh at the photo of Nord looking like he had a hangover. 🙂

    Maybe Malik will come with a furry surprise later on – it remains to be seen ….

    The Sumatra tiger babies are, of course, cuter than cute!

    Thank you for all the reports from Aalborg!

    Hugs from Mervi

  3. Dear Ralph!
    Thank you for these touching impressions of your last day in Aalborg.
    I´m happy for you that the weather was fine. The bears were good-tempered and Nuka even made contact with you at the pane for an unforgettable farewell.
    It must have been really hard for you to say good-bye to these bears you are so fond of.
    But I agree: this is not the end of the story. I suppose if it is somehow possible for you you will see them again. I´ll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    My favourite pics are those with the tube. I always have a good laugh when seeing such scenes.
    Hopefully all members of this wonderful polar bear family will have a bright and happy future!


  4. Dear Ralph, thanks a lot for the lovely fotos from Aalborg Zoo. You have had a very nice time there.

    And Skandinavisk Dyrepark is a wonderful animal park where Nord can enjoy living in a very big natural enclosure with other bears. I really do like the park, but it is not so easy to visit – I do not have a car. I have been there one time, and I enjoyed the visit.

    Hugs Inge

  5. And thanks a lot dear Mervi for showing !

    Hugs from Copenhagen

  6. Lieber Ralph,

    danke für Deine beiden letzten Berichte aus Aalborg, wobei ich mir eigentlich fast nur die Fotos angeguckt habe. Du weißt, mir fehlt einfach die Zeit bei so vielen englischen Berichten alles zu übersetzen und zu kommentieren. Aber ich bin sehr viel unterwegs, und Abends dann doch etwas müde um dann noch lange am PC zu sitzen. Ich genieße einfach die Zeit, und bin sehr viel bei Tonja und Hertha. Die Zeit vergeht so schnell. ich habe so viele Videos und Bilder, die ich für mich noch bearbeiten muss.

    Aber die Fotos schaue ich mir hier in KWM alle an.

    Der Abschied von den beiden Mädels in Aalborg ist Dir bestimmt nicht leicht gefallen. Aber vielleicht kannst Du sie ja in ihrer neuen Heimat auch mal besuchen.

    Liebe Grüße

  7. Oh now you are even in touch with tigers. I am mighty impressed 🙂

    NUKA and QUILLAK are beatiful and active polar bears – and those ‘tiny’ toys they’ve got! I ask myself how they can manage to cope with those weights and dimensions . . .

    Funny to see how any of the polar bears love to put things into things, here the tube into the tyre.

    Like the photo of MAILK scratching her head – kind of a typical polar bear gesture. NORD half in, half out of his den is also a great pic.

    “Nuka was at the glass and seemed to be keen to have a head rub with me.” is a very lovely photo, especially with your subtitle. I bed you was much touched at this moment.

    Thanks for this report, dear RALPH

  8. Lieber Ralph,
    immer besonders so intensiv und nah bei seinen Lieblingen zu sein.
    Ich wünsche den beiden Mädels ein neues gutes Zuhause und dass sie dann von dir besucht werden.
    Vielen Dank, hat Spaß gemacht deine Berichte und Bilder aus Aalborg zu sehen.
    Liebe Grüße Moni K