A visit with the Columbus cub Kulu

Nov 9th, 2020 | By | Category: Lead articles

9.11.2020 by Molly Merrow

I visited Kulu at the Columbus Zoo on a beautiful sunny Sunday, very windy but the bears don’t care about that. I am happy to bring you this report of the only polar bear cub in a U.S. Zoo this year.

Kulu seems to be a happy little boy.

kulu pleased

The bears of the Columbus Zoo have a spacious habitat of rolling green meadow and lots of tree trunks to climb on, with a comfortable cave that was Kulu’s father’s favorite spot, and a deep pool, often filled with trout, although there were no fish on Sunday.

Lee, Kulu’s father, has moved to another zoo.

lee cave walk

Kulu is a very big boy for just 11 months old. There were no keepers or zoo volunteers around that day, so there was no one to ask, but he weighs a lot more than the average year old polar bear cub.

Kulu is round and fluffy and well padded.

Kulu snowball

Kulu face

He will celebrate his first birthday on November 28. His father Lee moved to another zoo several months ago, and the location is very hush hush, so although I know where he is, I cannot say.

Kulu is looking foward to his first birthday.

kuuy paws

Kulu is the first cub fathered by Lee, but Kulu’s mother Aurora has a sister Anana, who is now denned up, possibly awaiting another birth behind the scenes at the Columbus Zoo.

Kulu and his mom.

mother son portrait kulu

Kulu is Aurora’s fourth cub. She gave birth to Nora in 2015, who was raised by keepers, and to twins Nuniq and Neva in 2016.

Aurora and her son Kulu play with a big barrel.

aurora barrel kulu

This young bear is very independent, and spends most of his time playing with his toys, running about and swimming on his own.

Kulu stroll

One of Kulu’s favorite toy at the moment his is fire hose cube, which he stalks, and pounces upon, and tosses around)

kulu cube

seal pounce kulu

Sometimes he get together with his mom, and they play for awhile. Then he goes on his own way again.

Kulu hi mom

Sometimes mom is a good playmate.

Kulu and mom

Kulu does like to use his mommy as a pillow when he takes a nap


Kulu aurora nap

Aurora, who is 14 years old, plays with toys as much as Kulu does. These days she is especially fond of a purple crazy egg, but likes tossing around barrels too. The purple crazy egg is popular with Kulu too.

A favorite toy for mother and son.

kulu crazy egg

The slanted beams of sunlight in early November sometime give a glow to the bears’ fur, lit from behind. Their fur is thick, getting ready for snow and cold coming in December.

Aurora and Kulu

Kulu aurora barrel

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  1. Dear Molly,

    What a sweet polar bear boy Kulu is! He’s round and fluffy with the cutest face! Soon he will celebrate his first birthday. How time flies!

    Now that Kulu can entertain himself with different kinds of toys mama Aurora can have some time for herself, too. However, it looks like she loves to play with her son.

    Lee is a handsome male bear so having such beautiful parents it’s no wonder Kulu is a heart breaker. 🙂

    Thank you so much for this wonderful and exclusive article!

    Hugs from Mervi

  2. Thank you very much dear Molly.
    Best wishes to Kulu, Aurora and Lee.

  3. Dear Molly and Mervi
    The online dictionary has various meanings for Kulu. The German word Schaetzchen or Sweetie seems the best translation
    As usual Molly has written a beautifully photographed and detailedreport. I am glad she is now writing for Knutis Weekly. There are a lot of nice Polars in North America.

  4. Dear Molly and dear Mervi!
    Thank you for bringing us these fabulous photos of this sweet and charming bearboy!
    He is for sure a cute sweetheat and of impressing size for his age.
    He and his mother Aurora seem to be a good and harmonic team.

    Why is it a secret where Lee moved to?
    Anyway, I wish the Columbus bears all the best and a cool wintertime!


  5. Dear Molly!
    Thank you for the pictures of Kulu and Aurora. Kulu is a wonderful playful boy.

  6. Dear Molly
    How nice, that you could visit Aurora and Kulu.
    Its not easy in covid-times – in the momet all
    zoos are closed again. Kulu is a very pretty
    boy and so playful with his mother. 🙂
    Take care and stay healthy !

  7. It is great to see pictures from Columbus

    Kulu will soon be 1 year old.
    He has a nice nursery. His mummy is there to play and to cuddle.
    And what more does a one-year-old want. Exactly. A super great birthday party!

    Thank you dear Molly for this charming pictures from Kulu and his Mam Aurora!!


  8. Liebe Molly und liebe Mervi,
    freue mich auch hier Bilder aus dem Columbus Zoo zu sehen.
    Kulu ist schon sehr selbständig aber hin und wieder kuscheln mit Mama das mag auch er.
    Vielen Dank für die schönen Bilder von den Beiden.
    Liebe GrĂĽĂźe Moni K

  9. Dear Molly, when seeing your pics of Kulu, my first impression was: OJEE, that is what we call in Dutch “een dikkertje”? It is the first time that I learned about Kulu, but he looks lovely like all young polar bear cubs and he is acting accordingly. Sometimes playing on his own, sometimes pretty independent, but always happy to have mamma still around.