December 2019: Tonja and Hertha playing ball

Feb 13th, 2020 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

13.2.2020 by Ralph Morton


Hertha is growing so fast that her famous blue Hertha team ball is no longer big enough.




Tonja loves showing Hertha what a Polar Bear is able to do. Like all children, Hertha would rather play with the toy than watch it!


Fortunately, Tonja knows Hertha wants to the ball, so she has thrown it in the water.


Although Hertha likes playing on her own, she also likes to play with her fun-loving young Mum.


Tonja is pleased as well, and the pair are soon having fun together.


Tonja and Princess Hertha with one of their lovely toys from the great team at the Tierpark Berlin.

Tonja and Hertha at the corner


Tonja and Hertha know that the keepers walk past the corner of their enclosure on the way to the rear area and dens. They can often be found standing there.


Hertha likes to get the best view possible.


Herths is growing up so fast, at some angles she looks nearly as big as Tonja.


They are still very attached to each other.



So on my last day in Berlin, I was able to get some lovely shots of mother and daughter.

Other animals

The weather in December was cold and wet most days, so that I tended to spend most of my time with the Polar Bears.

However, during the periods when it was not raining, I found time to visit some of the other animals. With the leaves gone on their trees, it was possible to see the two Red Pandas in their resting places.


They like to curl up separately out of harm’s way. Their red fur shows up clearly against the bare wood.


The two “Bundmarder” were also easier to see. The only way I was able to film them as they move so fast was to take clips from my phone video.


The lovely face on this Bundmarder can be seen clearly. The body fur is in fact shaded in various colours as you can see here.


The perky little Marders were also interested by my famous shopping bag!


The Tierpark has different types of Hyena and I learnt a lot about them from watching the old RBB series “Panda, Gorilla and co”.


This one had seen a keeper go by and was hoping to be remembered!

That was the last in my sequence of pictures from the Tierpark in Berlin, but Spring is coming and I hope to be back there.

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  1. Dear Ralph,
    the weather in December is mostly cold and wet. It is great that polar bears do not care about the bad weather. You had a wonderful time watching Tonja and hertha at playing.
    The red pandas are very cute, they are mostly resting on the tree. The “Bundmarder” are very funny when they play.

  2. Dear Ralph!
    You took some beautiful photographs of Tonja and Hertha with your mobile phone.
    Tonja is a good teacher and Hertha already learnt to do many feats with her toys.
    They are definitely a good team.

    Fortunately you saw some more animals beside the polar bears in the Tierpark…
    I loved the little Buntmarder who was so curious and interested in your bag at the fence.


  3. Dear Ralph,

    Hertha certainly can play with bigger balls now and mama Tonja is an excellent trainer.

    Even though both bear ladies love to play with their toys and with each other they are very curious about their surroundings. That’s why some breaks are taken every now and then for keeping an eye on the keepers, the visitors and everything that arises their curiousity. 🙂

    Thank you for another lovely report of Queen Tonja and Princess Hertha!

    Hugs from Mervi

    PS. Of course, it’s lovely to meet the red pandas, the hyena and the cute ‘Buntmarder’, too!

  4. Thank you very much dear Ralph.
    Best wishes to Tonja and Hertha.

  5. Dear Ralph

    Tonja and Hertha have played so nice.
    The ball seems to be a very attractive
    toy. The Buntmarders are beautiful. 🙂


  6. Lieber Ralph,
    Hertha ist ein kleiner Wirbelwind, hat aber doch Respekt wenn Tonja großes schweres Spielzeug hat.
    Natürlich will sie es trotzdem haben und strengt sich an damit zu spielen.
    Der Tierpark ist immer interessant und Streifenhyänen sind ganz selten in Zoos zu sehen.
    Danke Dir, hat wieder Spaß gemacht die kleine Hertha und ihre Mama zu sehen.
    Liebe Grüße Moni K

  7. The clips from your phone video of the BUNTMARDER are right artisitc!
    Well done.

    Thanks for the new obeservations of ‘old’ observation objects, dear RALPH.