ZOOM Gelsenkirchen: 2 September 2019

Nov 22nd, 2019 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

22.11.2019 by Ralph Morton

It seems a long time ago now, but as there are so few pictures from Gelsenkirchen I thought it would be worth reporting on the four Polars Bears who live in the Alaska world at ZOOM.


I am always keen to get to the Polar Bears as quickly as possible so I go into Alaska through the Exit rather than the Entrance. This saves quite a long walk, and still allows me to see some other animals. Alaska would not be complete without the Moose, which often walks into town. They have a large enclosure at ZOOM and are usually rather far away.


However, they do sometimes come closer in order to feed.


I was lucky and able to get a nice early morning photo.


The most important Polar Bear in ZOOM is of course Antonia. She was busy gardening when I arrived.


Antonia was born in Karlsruhe on 24 November and will be celebrating her thirtieth birthday soon. Although she is beginning to show her age, she still likes to swim and search out any treats in her enclosure. Her short legs and cublike face can be seen in this photo.


Like all adult Polar Bears “Tony” has a purple tongue, which she shows here.


Antonia likes to rest on the edge of her pool.


Rolling in the mud and grass is important for Polar Bears as they do this in snow in order to keep their fur dry.


Antonia enjoys walking along the edge of the pool even though she has plenty of space.


Always alert and interested in what is going on around her, Antonia likes visitors.


A determined Antonia strides along, sniffing the air.



Asleep, Antonia really does look like a cub.


Her generous enclosure does get used a lot. But most activity seems to have taken place before visitors arrive. Looking at this picture it is easy to see why some visitors think Antonia is Nanook.



Next door to Antonia in the main enclosure is Bill, the male Polar Bear from the Czech Republic. Bill tries as often as possible to sniff Lara and Nanook at the edge of his enclosure, but he also goes to see what Antonia is doing.


Like Antonia, Bill likes to walk along the edge of the pool. It is interesting that even when they have plenty of space, Polar Bears in Zoos have set patterns which they patrol, usually on edges.



This sequence shows Bill destroying a blue canister. The thick plastic is no match for his claws and teeth. No seals or walrus were harmed in the making of this report.

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  1. Dear Ralph,
    it is great to see Antonia. She is a special bear and it is great for her to live in the zoo.
    Bill is a handsome male and he likes to destroy his toys.

  2. Dear Ralph,

    It’s always great to publish reports from Gelsenkirchen because we haven’t got so much from this zoo!

    The moose family seems to have a nice enclosure and one family member even came very close to the visitors. What a great photo!

    It goes without saying that Antonia is everybody’s darling! One can’t but love this sweet little polar bear lady. When I look at your photos it’s hard to understand Antonia is already 30 years old. She realldy looks like a cubbie in some photos. Her sister Katjuscha has also reached a respectable age so the two sisters seem to be tough ladies.

    Of course, it’s great to meet Bill, too. For the time being he has to live as a bachelor but it seems to me he’s quite happy playing with his blue barrel and I guess even with other toys.

    Thank you so much for the charming report!

    Hugs from Mervi

  3. RALPH – die kleine Antonia
    wird auch schon 30. Ich hoffe,
    sie bleibt noch lange gesund.

  4. Lieber Ralph,

    ich wusste nicht, dass Antonia schon fast 30 Jahre ist und das hat jetzt nichts
    mit ihrer Größe zu tun, die sie sowieso jünger erscheinen lässt.
    Sie und Katjuscha sind Geschwister? Auch das ist mir neu. Aber bei den
    vieln Bären verliert man schnellmal den Überblick.

    Den Elchen geht es gut und Bill natürlich auchmit seinem Spielzeug.

    Danke für deinen Bericht mit den schönen Fotos!

  5. Thank you very much dear Ralph.
    Best wishes to Antonia, Bill, Lara, Nanook and the other animals in ZOOM Gelsenkirchen.

  6. Dear Ralph!
    Thank you for giving us details of your visit at Zoom Gelsenkirchen and keep us informed about sweet Antonia and Bill – and Lara and Nanook who will be dealt with in the sequel I suppose.

    The moose gave you a warm welcome in the “Alaska World”. I really like them.

    There´s no doubt that Antonia is loved by everyone though she always insists on not to be nice… 😉 You took beautiful photos of her.
    It is unbelievable and a little sad that this precious little lady is already 30 years old.
    Time flies!

    I wonder if Bill feels a little lonely. That is my impression of the pics. To destroy a canister may help for a while…


  7. Very good we get again some more information and real beautiful photos from ZOOM Gelsenkirchen. You start your report this time with 4 beautiful photos in a style I didn’t see before from this ‘worth to visit zoo/animal park’. ANTONIA in half camouflage is real ‘special’! The three moose pics could have been taken even in the wild . . .

    ANTONIA such is honoured by you, your visit, your pictures (and us)
    already for her 30th birtday TOMORROW!

    Thank you, dear RALPH. Looking forward to getting more information and seeing more of your constantly ameliorating photos – better every time. Congratulations!

  8. Lieber Ralph,
    ein sehr schöner Bericht! Die kleine Antonia ist eine ganz imposante Eisbärin, eine Lady! Beim Betrachten der Fotos bekomme ich richtig Lust, auch mal wieder den ZOOM Gelsenkirchen zu besuchen.
    Vielen Dank und liebe Grüße,

  9. Lieber Ralph,
    ich wünsche Antonia alles Gute zu ihrem Geburtstag!
    Jeder liebt diese tiefergelegte Eisbärin und sie ist für mich die tierische Hauptattraktion im ZOOM.
    Danke Dir für deinen Bericht von einer ganz besonderen Eisbärin.
    Liebe Grüße Moni K

  10. Lieber Ralph,

    ich freue mich immer, Fotos von Katjuschas kleiner Schwester Antonia zu sehen. Sie hat genauso ein hübsches Gesicht wie Kati.
    Ich wünsche Antonia auch alles Gute zum Geburtstag.

    Danke für den Bericht und die Fotos.

    Liebe Grüße

  11. Danke fuer die schoenen Bilder aus Gelsenkirchen.

    Liebe Gruesse, Erika