Ralphs Flocke Story Part 4 – Pool Party

Sep 22nd, 2020 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

22.9.2020 by Ralph Morton

After lunch on Tuesday I met one of the keepers who told me that the bears would move to the lower enclosure so the two large upper ones could be cleaned.

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The lower enclosure is still larger than many main enclosures. The pool is however much smaller and obviously intended for really young cubs.

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Flocke stayed in the shade under the walkway but the cubs were soon using the pool.

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While Flocke stayed in the shade the cubs were keen to find their toys and play in the pool.

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Flocke, like all Polar Bear Mums, likes to spend some time teaching and playing with her cubs. This was my first chance to see her up close and to see how strong and fit she is.

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Flocke was not so much playing as supervising her cubs. She communicates quietly and there was no huffing or growling. The cubs also play nicely.

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Flocke has no difficulty getting her thre cubs to follow her instructions. It was soon time to get out of the pool.

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It is very rare for Polar Bears to be able to rear three cubs. Especially in the wild there are too many hazards for the third and smallest cub. These pictures show why I just had to make the trip. Flocke with Indiana, Yuma and Tala in order or size and whiteness! Tala may be the smallest but she is Raspi’s girl-Rasputina!

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I was so pleased to have the family together. Flocke knew that one of the keepers was around and would be preparing food. He had told me that the cubs were eating so much solid food that Flocke did not have to feed them so often. I had to wait till Wednesday to see that.

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Food is the surest way of moving Polar Bears as these pictures show. The Boomsies allow us to see how fast the cubs are growing and to compare their sizes. I was able to watch the keeper feeding Flocke and checking up her. A convenient crack in the fence and an open door.

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Next time Marineland reveals how to help Polars chill on the Riviera.




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  1. Dear Ralph,
    you took very good pictures of Flocke and the kids in the lower enclosure. The pool is not very big, but there is enough place for play. The ice grotto is very nice.
    Hugs
    Ludmila

  2. Dear Ralph!
    Thank you for the fourth part of your report!
    I´m happy for you that your visit in Antibes was so delightful!

    I loved your pics and descriptions, for example:
    ” The Boomsies allow us to see how fast the cubs are growing and to compare their sizes.”… and
    “It is very rare for Polar Bears to be able to rear three cubs. Especially in the wild there are too many hazards for the third and smallest cub. These pictures show why I just had to make the trip. Flocke with Indiana, Yuma and Tala in order or size and whiteness! Tala may be the smallest but she is Raspi’s girl-Rasputina!”
    Touching!

    You certainly will treasure this visit and your memories for a long time.

    All the best
    Hugs
    Anke

  3. Dear Ralph

    It is a real joy to see these four.
    Thank you for your pool party report 🙂

    Hugs
    Anita

  4. Dear Ralph,

    What a pleasure it was for me to join the pool party and even publish your photos and texts! 🙂

    Flocke sure is a very good mother and it’s simply amazing how well she raises her three kids. Indiana, Tala and Yuma can be happy having such mama!

    Thank you so much for this charming report!

    Hugs from Mervi

  5. Thank you very much dear Ralph.
    Best wishes to Flocke, Indiana, Tala and Yuma.

  6. As usual your observations are interesting and entertaining in the same time.
    Thanks, dear Ralph, for your report and the pictures where often all four of the Antibians
    can be seen at the same time. Such it’s more easy to follow the interactions you are talking of.
    I love the pic where the entrance to mama FLOCKE’s and the three cubs’ den is blocked by their bottoms 😉

    – – –

    I just came from your last notes in ‘Die Knuipe’ and I have to admit that I am a little greenish thinking of your lots of polar bear and animal adventures in various countries and everything with perfect weather and obviously everything runs more than smoothly and to your liking. But of course one has to admit that in anticipacion it demands lots of efforts in so many respects in order to being able to get all those chances . . . 🙂

  7. Wow, that must have been a magical day, to have those three little rascals playing right in front of you, and the beautiful Flocke so close. I really enjoy you taking us along on your trip. It helps to have been there, and to know exactly where you are standing. Looking at your photos is almost like being there.

    A special experience, to see polar bear triplets.

    Molly

  8. Lieber Ralph,
    Flocke ist entspannt und die Kinder spielen, besser geht es nicht.
    Das war bei der ersten Tochter ganz anders und zeigt dass die Entscheidung Raspi abzugeben richtig war.
    Ich kann mich Molly nur anschliessen, es hilft die Bilder zu sehen und fast dabei zu sein.
    Vielen Dank, schöne Bilder von meinen Lieblingen.
    Liebe Grüße Moni K

  9. dear Ralph,
    you had a wonderful time in Antibes, you could see a happy Mama Flocke and her three very sweet kids.
    It is a gift watching this content familyl The cubs like to play and dive in the water and watching the visitors but stay close to Mama is the best. Thank you for all your 4 reports from Marineland and for all pictures.I can understand that you had a special time there.
    dear greetings and good wishes
    Filomena

  10. Dear Ralph and Mervi,
    thanks for the nice picture of Flocke and the cubs.
    Bear Hugs
    Gudrun

  11. Lieber Ralph!

    Flocke ist ganz schoen beschaeftigt aber sie macht das grossartig. Danke fuers zeigen.

    Liebe Gruesse, Erika

  12. Dear Ralph, thank you so much for sharing your report and pics with us. Every pic of Flocke and her (no longer small) cubbies is just priceless. and so are your comments.
    What interested me the most was to see what a mentally well-balanced polar bear Flocke is. Considering her rough start in life (mother Vera disturbed in her den, taking her baby out and let it drop on the stairs of the enclosure, Flocke taken away from her mother and from then hand-raised by humans), I can only say that Nuremberg made a great job. They were able to keep her alive and to raise her. But most importantly, they soon kept their distance and gave her a good compagnion of her own kind with whom she could grow up and create self-confidence. And you are right, rearing 3 cubs in the wild is almost impossible, especially since only 10% of all cubs do survive their first year. Well, hand-raised Flocke is able to Flocke-raise her 3 own babies. Wonderful Flocke, isn’t it.

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