ZOOM Gelsenkirchen December 2020: Lara and Nanook

Apr 17th, 2020 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

17.4.2020 by Ralph Morton

Looking at the pictures of Nora and her new cub at Schoenbrunn reminds me of how active little Nanook was in her first year. But Lara, her mother, had a very strict upbringing from Mother Olinka. She has been equally strict with her own daughter.


Strict, but loving. The two are still very close, just as Lara was with Olinka when I saw them together in November 2006. I wonder if Nora will learn the Austrian Court etiquette or whether she will be a modern Mum like Tonja.

Now and again, usually first thing. In the morning, Lara and Nanook go for a swim and go to visit Bill at the wall between the enclosures. The layout of the enclosure makes this hard to film with a phone cam.


There is quite a lot of air activity as Gelsenkirchen is near some airports, and there are also birds.

Nanook and Lara are always vigilant.


It is often hard to tell them apart in photos. In real life, Nanook tends to move around much more than Lara, who is very quiet and restrained.


I think this is Lara, with Nanook behind her.

Lara is very elegant. It does seem that Polar Bears always remember their birth Zoo and the way they behaved as cubs. The Rostock bears for example are all self-confident and playful.


Nanook has had a perfect Polar Bear Zoo childhood with a loving Mum and great keepers.


Lara is still very protective of Nanook, especially when strange men are trying to photograph her!


Fortunately, there is armour plated glass to protect them. But Nanook wonders what is in my rather worn shopping bag.


It is no accident that Lara and Nanook like to be near the glass, where there is always something going on.


Perhaps it might be worth a look?



As always with Polar Bears, Mother goes first to check out anything new and possibly harmful.


My bag always attracts Polars. Here is Nanook.


I think this was Lara as well, though she is much less curious about things that she knows are on the other side of the glass.


Like all two year old cubs, Nanook is fearless and curious. She comes straight for me.


Nanook has also learnt that things the other side of the glass are out of reach, but there is no harm in keeping an eye open.


Another little mix up. Lara and Nanook or?



All too soon it is time for everyone to leave: Me for Dusseldorf Airport and a flight home Lara and Nanook to say goodnight to Father Bill. Seeing the images from Nuenen, perhaps Bill and Lara are as close as Frimas and Henk?


This liquorice nose could tell us, but maybe next time ……

Share |

Leave a comment »

  1. Dear Ralph!
    Thank you for your nice and easygoing pics from Lara and Nanook in the ZOOM Gelsenkirchen!
    I will never forget the time when we thought Lara could be possibly the mate of Knut.

    Time flies and Nanook is almost as big as her mother now, so you found it hard to tell who is who.
    Both are doing well and seem to be still content and relaxed together.

    I wonder where Nanook is going when time has come?
    Hopefully she will have a good new home and friendly keepers – wherever!

    Take care!

  2. LARA and NANUK are a handsome mother-child-couple.

    Thanks for having brought them all the way from Gelsenkirchen to KWM and therefore to any of our resident places, e.g. for me to Berlin 🙂

  3. Dear Ralph,

    Finally I published this charming article from Gelsenkirchen – but Lara and Nanook certainly were worth waiting! 😀

    Nanook is now almost as big as her mother but, naturally, Lara considers her as a baby. 😀 They seem to be very devoted mama and daughter.

    Thank you so much for the well written text and nice photos!

    Hugs from Mervi

  4. Dear Ralph!
    Thank you for the pictures of Lara and Nanook. You met them on their calm day.

  5. Nanook hat sich toll entwickelt. 🙂
    Mutter und Tochter sind sich nah.
    Bill kann stolz sein auf sein Kind.