Antibes – Flocke and her cubs in the Cold

Nov 11th, 2020 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

11.11.2020 by Ralph Morton

It seems a lifetime ago since my mad dash to France in August to visit Flocke and her three cubs. Fortunately I have lots of photos to remind me of them. I am going to share them and my other visits with you as we go through the Winter.

The enclosures at Marineland have an upper and lower area. Both areas have an unusual feature. There are two special glass fronted rooms full of snow and ice. The upper one had the disadvantage that its glass was misted over a lot the time. The lower one had been provided with a slope of snow.

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One of the cubs did rub its head against the glass and gave me a lovely view of the Polar Bear tongue. I also got a close up of a beautiful brown eye.

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The lower cold room was soon proving popular with the bears and visitors.

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At the beginning the snow was still nice and white and the cubs soon appeared.

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Three cubs together in the cold room. My excitement is still high. Three healthy and happy cubs. And their Mum.

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Flocke joined them in playing in the snow.

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The cubs also took a look at the visitors.

The ice room started to fill up. Tala, the feisty third cub, is a girl. Like her father, Raspi, she is always in action.

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The family usually go their own ways, taking advantage of the spacious enclosures and deep pools. But I was lucky to get them all together in the ice room.

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The relative sizes of the bears show how fast the cubs had grown. Part of me still cursed the fact that I had not visited in April when they were cute fur balls. However, looking at them I was just so grateful to have grabbed the chance to get to see them.

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The visitors came and went, and most of the time we were able to keep our distance. The family meanwhile were also starting to separate.

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After the family had left, a single cub reappeared. I think it was Tala.

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She took full advantage to dig herself in.

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Tala loves contact with the visitors. The wonderful Polar Bear paw with soft pads and fur makes an excellent snowshoe. Tala shows us hers.

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One little boy had been watching the family. He was fascinated by the size of Flocke.

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He was delighted to be able to play with Tala. She seemed to enjoy it too.

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On Wednesday morning I was back at the lower area Ice Room and so was Tala.

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My shopping bag soon attracted her attention. Cubs are sometimes cautious and rely on Mum to check things out. Tala takes care but is so curious.

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I have found that cubs cannot resist the bag, and Tala was no exception.

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Tala enjoyed digging in the ice.

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She is a lovely cub. The fact that she is the third one makes her very precious.

The final photo shows two cubs playing in the room which is no longer so white, a bit like the cubs.

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  1. Lieber Ralph,
    ich beneide dich um deine Eindrücke und dass du es geschafft hast die Familie zu besuchen.
    Ja Tala ist eine kleine Rasputina und hat auch keine Scheu mit den größeren Brüdern zu raufen.
    Danke Dir, das hilft ein wenig meine Sehnsucht nach Flocke zu mildern.
    Liebe Grüße Moni K

  2. Dear Ralph,
    the ice cave is a wonderful place for the polar bears. It is very difficult to take the picture at this place. I am very glad to see Flocke and her kids in the ice.
    Hugs
    Ludmila

  3. Dear Ralph,

    This time of the year I want to see polar bears in the snow and in your report my dream came true. OK, the snow and ice are not ‘real’ but Flocke, Indiana, Tala and Yuma are very satisfied with their arctic grotto. 🙂

    I always love to watch the polar bears being so interested in your shopping bag. Tala sure want to examine it very thoroughly – although that stupid glass is between her and the object of her interest. 🙂

    Thank you so much for this very entertaining and informative report – just like your reports always are!

    Hugs from Mervi

  4. Dear Ralph!
    Unbelievable that only three months ago you were in Antibes and watched Mme Flocke and her offspring.
    It seems to be much longer ago. These memories must be for sure a precious treasure in these times of another lockdown…

    The ice cave was such a good idea for a polar bear enclosure in the south of France and it has been already very useful in the course of time.

    Your pics are again kind of special, some of them look like paintings and I loved them.
    Thank you for these sunny impressions on a dull and cold day!

    Hugs
    Anke

  5. Die Eishöhle ist eine besondere Attraktion für die Kinder.
    Auch hier ist die Plastik-Tüte sehr interessant und muss
    an der Scheibe genau untersucht werden. Flockes
    Drillinge haben sich toll entwickelt ! 🙂
    Danke für den Bericht, Ralph.

  6. Lieber Ralph,

    das Trio ist einfach bezaubernd und die Eishöhle ist eine großartige Attraktion, die sich andere Zoos als Beispiel nehmen sollten. Das Interesse an deinen Taschen haben wir schon bei vielen Youngsters beobachten können und ist immer wieder bezaubernd.

    Gut, dass du den richtigen Zeitpunkt für deine Reise getroffen hast, denn in den nächstenMonaten werden solche Besuche unmöglich sein.

    Danke für deine Berichterstattung und liebe Grüße!
    Britta-Gudrun

  7. dear Ralph,
    it was the best decision to travel to France in August, so you could see this wonderful Flocke family live
    you have brought so many lovely pictures and we all can have joy with watching it. your bag was interesting for the sweet Tala, of course it was a shopping bag,
    Thank you for your report and for the pictures
    dear greetings and good wishes to you
    Filomena

  8. Thanks for the charming photos of Raspi’s children, and the lovely mama bear. I love standing in front of the ice grotto watching the action, or just the naps. I wish I could have gone this year, but it was not to be.

    The photos of the paws at the window are iconic. There is nothing as beautiful as a polar paw.

    Some great pics of the antics of Rasputina. She is such a little rascal. Of course she loved your shopping bag. All the little girl bears do.

    Molly

  9. Thank you very much dear Ralph.
    Best wishes to Flocke and her cubs.

  10. Dear Ralph

    Thank you very much for your wonderful descriptions.

    To see the family on site was certainly a unique experience. The way I treat you about it.
    I wanted to go at the beginning of april, but then came Covid 19…
    .
    And once again I see that polar bears are very curious.
    How much would Tala have known what was in your bag…

    Thank you for your wonderful report about the enchanting family!

    Hugs,
    Anita

  11. Dear Ralph, I fully understand that you still regret for not having been able to visit Flocke and her cubs in April. But you must admit that even in August, although already a bit bigger, they have lost nothing of their cubbie charms. I love the close-up pics of the tongue and the eye. They are priceless. When seeing the photos of Tala, I immediately understand why her keepers prefer to call her Tina because she is so much Rapsi’s daughter and that name suits her better. She is so self-confident.
    And by the way, like Mervi already wrote: due to these horrible times, there will be less zoo reports. Therefore, we all have to rely on you to help us to come through a long dark cold Winter, bringing us wonderful souvenirs of your visits.