ZOOM Gelsenkirchen: The Nanook Story

Dec 4th, 2019 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

4.12.2019 by Ralph Morton



It is nice to remember how far Lara and her female cub, Nanook, have come. Story boards next to their enclosure tell the story.


Lara gave birth to three cubs on 4 December 2017, but only one survived.


Only three weeks later, on 25 December, the cub opened its eyes.


On 19 January 2018 the cub began to start crawling next to its mother.


It was not long, on 5 February that the cub made its first shaky attempts at walking.


On 16 February, 3 month old Nanook, as she had been named because of her size and quick learning, started to eat solid food.


On 13 April 2018 Mother and Daughter left the safety of the den and explored the enclosure for the first time together.


This picture on the side of the shop shows that by the first snows of 2018 Nanook had already grown.


Here in September, Lara and Nanook together look almost like sisters.


Ever since Nanook was small, Lara has taken her to this side of the enclosure where Bill, on the other side behind a door, can sniff and smell them. Lara’s ties to Bill must be unusually close for her to do this.


When she saw my bag, Nanook came across to investigate.


Nanook is full of confidence and has never been afraid of her visitors.


Bright eyed and eager to find out what is going on.


The magic of being so close, even through glass, to a Polar Bear never fails.



The famous licorice eyes and nose


The inside of Nanook’s ear up close.


Nanook on land, coming to the glass to see a dog.


The distinctive head and triangular ears of the Polar Bear shown by Nanook.


Nanook asleep, she is already bigger than Antonia!

In the next part, I will show how much alike Nanook and her mother, Lara, have become.

Share |

Leave a comment »

  1. Happy Birthday, dear Nanook!

    Dear Mervi,
    you made a wonderful story about Nanook and her mother Lara. Nanook is 2 years old and she is a big girl now. The pictures at the glass a very nice.

  2. Lieber Ralph,

    vielen Dank für die schöne Zusammenfassung über das Aufwachsen Nanuqs in Gelsenkirchen
    mit vielen tollen Fotos.
    Als Fan des Zoos Gelsenkirchen wird es dich freuen, dass er kürzlich als einer
    der beliebtesten und besten Zoos Deutschlands ausgezeichnet wurde.

    Auch ich wünsche Nanuq alles Gute zu seinem Geburtstag und wünsche dir
    einen erlebnisreichen Besuch dort nach dem Knuttreffen!

    Herzliche Grüße

  3. Lieber Ralph,
    Alles Gute für die schon große Nanook!
    Vielen Dank für diese schöne Cronik.
    Liebe Grüße Moni K

  4. Dear Ralph,

    What a perfect report this is for Nanook’s second birthday! What a nice idea of the zoo to make a story of Nanook’s life so far!

    Are you sure you’re not a polar bear magnet? All the polar bears you visit immediately come as close to you as possible!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Lara has done a good job with her daughter so Nanook is a sweet teenager now. Thank you so much for this lovely presentation!

    Hugs from Mervi

  5. Dear Ralph!
    Thank you for this fabulous birthday tribute to Nanook!

    It is always interesting and somehow touching to observe the development of a little one to a grown-up animal. It would be nice to be able to do so more often.
    The story boards of Zoom Gelsenkirchen could have set an example for other zoos.

    I liked your well chosen photos of Nanook with her mother and at the pane.
    It is very obvious how fascinating and attractive polar bears are for you.
    It seems they are interested in you too.
    Hopefully you are able to visit Nanook in the future as well.


  6. Nanook hat sich toll gemacht.
    Danke für den Bericht, Ralph!