My first visit to Flocke Part 2 – Hello Flocke!

Aug 31st, 2020 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

31.8.2020 by Ralph Morton

I was up bright and early on Tuesday morning. Opening the curtains I had a panaramic view of Marineland.

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This photo shows the mountains and beneath them is the roof of the stadium stand for the orca shows. Just to the left is the Polar Bear home.

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The hotel is modern with four residential blocks. On the left is the restaurant (the red sunshades cover tables). I was able to get a leisurely breakfast of coffee, rolls and croissants in the fresh air.

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The park is right next to the Marineland Hotel. At ten oclock I was able to go through straight from the restaurant. There were still hardly any visitors. On the side of the Orca stadium was a shop selling Orcas and Polars. You can see me reflected in the glass recognising one from my collection (zooshops are now a franchise so many things are the same in each zoo.) In another window was a picture of Flocke and her cubs.

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I soon crossed the bridge into the Polar Bear home. In the ditch were some Christmas trees.

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The enclosure has a varied and interesting terrain. In addition the den doors are left open so the bears can come and go. People always ask how Polar Bears can avoid being seen when there is no snow and ice. The answer is simple, they blend in just fine. Of course they are rarely shining white! However, Flocke and family were not to be seen on land.

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The large water tanks are glass fronted. There are two separate enclosures with two separate tanks. The first one was empty. The second one has a waterfall. In my photo you can just make out a Polar Bear shape.

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One of the cubs was swimming in the water.

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While the cub swam I looked for Flocke. She was right at the back of the enclosure. Rather like Katjuscha she was relaxing in the doorway.

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When I looked back to the water, two cubs were in the water, watched by a third. Suddenly the three were having a playfight. Although they were so far away, I took.some shots as this was the first time I had ever seen three Polar Bear cubs together for myself. The tensions of the last few weeks about the journey evaporated.

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While I watched the cubs, Flocke had come out. She seems happy to let the cubs to learn by playing. But she still makes sure they play nice.

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The viewing bay was starting to fill up so I had to sit on the tiered spectators benches to get these shots of Flocke with her cubs.

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To prove how much the cubs have learnt, I think it was Indiana as he is the biggest and has the whitest nose. He demonstrated the classic PolarBear way dealing with food.

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Flocke was watching but seemed happy to let the cubs play. Indiana joined her and they watched another cub. In the final photo the cub lunges up towards Indiana.

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The play in the water continued, but Flocke was still patiently watching.

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Flocke took a close interest in the cub swimming in the water.. The cubs are so strong and confident that she can be very relaxed.

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With the cubs enjoying themselves Flocke made her exit. She returned to her den. Flocke is easily the coolest Polar Bear Mum. Three cubs may be hard work in the wild, but with plenty of Marineland food available, three is a good number.

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Next time the first of several play sessions at the glass with the cubs.




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  1. Dear Ralph,

    It looks like your accommodation was the best possible with a fantastic panorama wiew.

    Am I right assuming that you didn’t pass by the souvenir shop without bying something? ­čÖé

    The good thing having three cubs is that the kids always have somebear to play with so Flocke can afford to have some time for herself, too. It seems to be working just fine!

    Of course, Flocke is always alert and keeps at least one eye on her sweet babies.

    Indiana’s ‘performance’ is very polar bear like …. ­čÖé …. and I love to see Flocke’s boomsie! ­čÖé

    Thank you so much for this very entertaining and informative report!

    Hugs from Mervi

  2. Lieber Ralph,
    Flocke ist viel cooler mit ihrem 2.Nachwuchs.
    Bei Hope war auch noch Rasputin im Nebengehege und das hat ihr viel Sress gemacht.
    Mit dem Lockdown hatte sie viel Ruhe und auch jetzt sind die Besucherzahlen ├╝berschaubar.
    Aber sie ist schon wachsam und passt auf ihre wilde Bande auf.
    Danke Dir, ein klein wenig hat dein Bericht meine Sehnsucht gemildert.
    Liebe Gr├╝├če Moni K

  3. Lieber Ralph,

    mit dem Blick von deinem Hotel aus direkt auf den Tierpark hattest du schon einen tollen Platz “in der 1. Reihe”!
    Flocke wirkt sehr entspannt und das ist gut so, denn wenn sie so ├╝berbesorgt w├Ąre, w├╝rde sie das viel zu sehr stressen. Die kleine Bande regulieret sich untereinander. In Gro├čfamilien auch ganz normal und besser f├╝r die m├╝tterlichen Nerven.
    Danke f├╝r deine Beobachtungen und vielleicht gibt es noch einen Nachschlag?

    Herzliche Gr├╝├če
    Britta-Gudrun

  4. Dear Ralph!
    Thank you for another part of your interesting report with its special pics and your explanations of the bears behaviour.
    I┬┤m happy for Flocke and her little ones that they have such a good and family-friendly home and everything needed to play and swim.
    Flocke is a cool and relaxed mother for her kids and it must be fascinating to watch the three rascals in action.

    You obviously made a good choice with the hotel you booked!

    Hugs
    Anke

  5. Three cubs and a Flocke, how wonderful for you. The bears have so much to do there, and the pools are great. It is nice that Flocke can just supervise and rest, since the kids always have a playmate.

    I miss seeing the mountains just north of Marineland, it feels like home to see that. And what a view you had from your room. I remember walking past that polar bear shop on my visits, I did buy a few things, of course.

    You were lucky with the weather. I guess it is raining this week. Thanks for taking us along on your trip.

    Indy is pure Raspi.

    Molly

  6. Dear Ralph!
    You had a wonderful time watching Flocke and her kids. Flocke lets the kids play. Sometimes she joins the kids.
    Hugs
    Ludmila

  7. An individual start of a polar bear visit report. I love to get to see something of the neighbourhood outside of the zoo atmosphere where ‘our’ beloved animals live. . . . .It’s so good to see again (after MONI K’s reports) some of the environment and landscape where FLOCKE now seem to be really AT HOME. Everything looks very inviting and watching your entrance pics it seems to me I can smell the special air of this place next to the Mediterranean Sea – great! . . . (.stimulus. for your next journey into this region: https://www.cotedazur.de/antibes.html ).

    As always your observations concerning the polar bears – this time precious FLOCKE with her precious ‘triple’ – are very intresting. It’s good to know you had such a good time with them. It’s very easy to believe you will savour for a long time from your memories. Such it’s for sure more easy with the present restrictions you have to follow but which will be already over on Thursday this week. Best wishes.

  8. Lieber Ralph!

    Vielen Dank f├╝r deine interessanten Bericht ├╝ber Flocke und ihren Nachwuchs. Ich freue mich, dass es der B├Ąrenfamilie so gut geht.
    Der Zoo in Antibes ist bestimmt sehr sch├Ân.

    Liebe Gr├╝├če
    Yeo

  9. dear Ralph,
    so nice you could see the sweet Polar bear kids having much fun in the water and I like very much your words
    Flocke was still patiently watching.
    I am glad the family has a wonderful time and Flocke has also time to relax and to find cosy moments.
    Thank you for your entertaining report with all the lovely pictures
    dear greetings
    Filomena

  10. So nice. The polar bear children play wonderfully. Bravo ­čÖé

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