Zoo am Meer Bremerhaven Wednesday 16 September

Feb 19th, 2021 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

19.2.2021 by Ralph Morton

I flew into Hamburg late on Tuesday evening. All the arrangements for my week in Germany were in place despite the Corona restrictions. I had been able to buy online tickets for each day. I settled into my hotel room and was up early on Wednesday to take trains to Bremerhaven.

I arrived with plenty of time and was able to find a snack bar outside the station to enjoy breakfast. I caught a bus to the Zoo am Meer.


It had been four years since I had first visited the Zoo to see Lili as a cub. I recognised the replica of a Polar Bear that stands on top of the entrance. A sign explains her history.



A white van parked outside is decorated with the logo of the Zoo, a distinctive Polar Bear.


The reasons for my visit were shown on the side of the building. Twin Polar Bear cubs. The pictures showed them as the cute bundles of fur which I had hoped to visit in the Spring.


A notice in a window explains that they are called Anna and Elsa. The pictures from August show that they are already a lot bigger.


The shop is still shut but I made sure to visit it later on.


I looked back towards the large hotel where I had stayed on my very first visit in April 2016. I noticed that Polar Bear Suse is looking towards it.



The Zoo am Meer is surrounded by the working port of Bremerhaven. Ships pass by and the Polar Bears often watch them. The landmark towers and buildings are familiar to views of the NDR documentary about the Zoo.




The Polar Bear enclosure is well served with thick glass viewing windows. One of the keepers was watching them.


One of the cubs was soon curious and came to the window.


It was clear that the cubs had recognised their keeper. I was lucky to be able to talk to her and learn a lot about them and their parents.


The cubs now look very different from the little faces on the poster. They are confident and look very fit.


The cubs are already large compared with us. Elsa is the bolder of the two. They are named after two Disney Princess characters. The names fit them well.


The enclosure has plenty to keep the bears busy. Snacks and scent markings are regularly hidden for them to sniff out.


Mother Valeska comes to the glass a bit later on. She is a lovely and affectionate mother.



One of the cubs, Elsa I think, is soon attracted back to the window.



All cubs are eager to look for food so my shopping bag is always investigated. Elsa came to check it out.


My day at the Zoo am Meer had got off to an excellent start. The family were lively and would keep me busy.


The enclosure is very well designed and has plenty of different surfaces and features. My mobile phone has its limits but fortunately the Zoo has a zoom video cam which I “borrowed” in some of my later shots.


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  1. Dear Ralph!
    You brought very nice remembrance pictures from September 2020. We visited the Zoo am Meer in September too. The big enclosure is very good, but we had to run a lot, because it is not possible to see the whole enclosure from the one point.

  2. Lieber Ralph,

    wie schön, heute im fast nicht zu Ende gehenden Lockdown deinen Besuch vom September 2020 in Bremnerhaven genießen zu können!
    Der Zoo am Meer hat seinen ganz besonderen Reiz mit der direkten Aussicht für die Besucher und die Bären aufs Meer. An eine starke Sturmflut mag ich dabei nicht denken und hoffe, dass sie nie zu einer Gefahr werden könnte. Bis jetzt hat noch keiner von der ersten Bärin Susi die Statue gezeigt, die auch an die langjährige Bärenhaltung im Bremener Zoo erinnert, obwohl einige Fugen in der Statue damals zu bemängeln war – wie kleinlich ist diese Kritik dem Künstler gegenüber gewesen!

    Valeska hat in dieser Anlage nun schon sehr erfolgreich drei Bärchen großgezogen und bald werden Anna und Elsa in diesem Jahr wohl ihre Kinderstube verlassen müssen, denn eine vorrübergehende seperate Haltung von Jungtieren ist in keinem Konzept der heutigen Zoos vorgesehen, eigentlich schade.

    Danke für deinen Bericht und die wieder so netten Details mit deiner Vorratstasche!

  3. Dear Ralph!
    We have been planning to visit the Zoo am Meer for years and something always came up…

    Its location at the mouth of the Weser, its many view openings onto the water, the lighthouse and the passing ships give it its unique maritime charm and arouse wanderlust even in me. The specialisation in animals that are connected to the northern seas and landscapes in some way and the ingenious design of the enclosures make it a successful and harmonious whole.
    Your pictures and information convey this very nicely and I hope that one can soon travel through Germany again without fear and a guilty conscience….

    It is obvious that you had a good time with Valeska, Anna, Elsa and Lloyd. What a pity that the little bears’ early childhoods due to f… Corona took place more or less in secret.


  4. Mervi und Ralph,
    vielen Dank für den schönen Bericht und die Fotos aus Bremerhaven. Wir waren das letzte
    Mal Ende September da und wegen der Corona Pandemie sind viele andere Zoos geschlossen. Es fehlen schon die Kurzreisen in andere Zoos und hoffentlich kann man bald wieder welche besuchen.
    Bear Hugs

  5. Dear Ralph,

    Thank you for the charming report from Bremerhaven! It’s always a great pleasure to read about your own personal impressions.

    Valeska, Anna and Elsa look very good in their nice enclosure. Bremerhaven has a very special location by the sea.

    Hugs from Mervi

  6. Thank you very much dear Ralph.
    Best wishes to Valeska, Anna and Elsa.