Flocke and her kids: Pool Party at Noon

Apr 26th, 2021 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

26.4.2021 by Ralph Morton

On the Wednesday of my visit to Marineland, Antibes (August 2020), the keepers were cleaning the big water tank enclosure so Flocke and co. were in the “Mother and Baby” enclosure with its plunge pool. It is surrounded by thick steel bars.

noon1

Indiana, Yuma and Tala seemed to be more interested in the gates to the bigger enclosure. It was noon so I wondered if they had seen a keeper.

noon2

The two boys on the left were sitting patiently. Tala was more active as usual. I think she should have been called Tara after Tara King in” the Avengers” (Schirm und Melone!).

noon3

Suddenly something attracted the boys’ attention. They decided to go and have a look. But Tala stayed by the gate.

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Tala seems to be the leader, even though she is the smallest. She stayed watching for the keeper, while the two boys waited for her.

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Flocke’s trio have really learnt to work as a team. Flocke herself is content for much of the time to let them “learn by doing”. The pool was now getting their attention.

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This time it was Indy who took the lead. He seemed to have decided it was time to go and see Flocke.

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Tala followed, but Yuma didnt seem so sure. Now he seemed to be the one wanting to go and look for the keeper.

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Yuma finally decided to come along too. Flocke’s kids were on their way.

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Flocke leading three cubs was the sight that had brought me to France. Nine month later it still gives me a thrill. Tala, small and grey, seems to protect “her family”.

noon12

Mother goes first. The young bear who used to leap into the water in Nuremberg is now a caring, experienced mum.

noon13

The pool party was about to begin.

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Polar Bears enjoy showing us there “boomsies”. Flocke ensured that she was first in the pool.

noon16

Tala was next, but seemed to wait until Flocke had told her it was safe. Indy and Yuma followed.

noon17

I had expected the cubs to pile in like human children. But Polar Bear cubs learn early to be careful. Tala was in the water but her brothers waited.

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One of the boys was the last to join the party. Flocke moved towards him.

noon20

17. He is persuaded after a while to join in the fun.

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With all three of her cubs in the water Flocke could relax and enjoy getting cool. One of the cubs was grooming Flocke’s fur or maybe just trying to start a playfight.

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Flocke was not in the mood for a fight but a swirl of water showed the cub had been shaken off. A group of Polar Bears enjoying a group hug. Then the cubs see something. They are always curious and eager for something new.

noon24

Flocke starts to make her move. She has decided its time to go.

Seeing a gleaming white Flocke leaving the water reminds one that she is a beautiful Polar Bear.

noon27

Flocke shakes the water off as she gets out.

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She knows exactly where she is going.

noon29

Flocke has a place in the shade and stretches out.

noon30

Grass is a nice soft towel for a large bear.

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The cubs were still in the pool. It was time for me to look for some shade and a bite of lunch.

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6 comments
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  1. Lieber Ralph,

    deine ausführliche Beschreibung mit den Hintergrundinformationen zu den Foto liest sich wunderbar.
    Es ist auch interessant, dass sich Tala als Anführerin des Trios zeigt, obwohl sie die Kleinste ist, scheint sie sehr pfiffig zu sein.
    Ein bisschen vorsichtig zu sein gehört aber auch zum Überlebensprinzip, denn in der rauhen Natur sind auch kleinste Fehler oftmals tödlich. Gut, dass dies im geschützten Raum des Zoos eher selten vorkommt.

    Vielen Dank für das heutige Higlight, mit dem du dich nun auch immer noch etwas über die besuchlose Zeit hinwegtrösten musst.

    Herzliche Grüße
    Britta-Gudrun

  2. Dear Ralph,

    Thank you for another charming report from Antibes! It’s always a great pleasure to publish your well written and nicely illustrated articles!

    Hugs from Mervi

  3. Dear Ralph,
    thank you for the remembrance on the summer time 2020. The pool in the mother-kid enclosure in Antibes is not big. Flocke and her kids enjoyed the water 🙂
    Hugs
    Ludmila

  4. Dear Ralph!
    Thank you for your vivid report and many beautiful pictures of this extraordinary group of polar bears.
    Last summer seems so far away now and it’s a pity that because of Corona the triplets couldn’t get the attention they would normally have received.
    Sadly, their childhood is almost over now.
    I’m happy for you that you were able to visit them and can now enjoy your memories.

    Hugs
    Anke

  5. Dear Ralph,
    How delightful to see Flocke’s mothering skills with three cubs. The small pool is so much fuller now with three cubs and Mama. I remember how she was with little Hope, in that pool. She is such a confident mother.

    Of course Tala is the leader. Our little Rasputina takes after her papa Raspi.

    I hope and wish to see Flocke with her trio of cubs yet this summer. We will cross our fingers and toes.

    Molly

  6. Dear Ralph

    Thank you for your good descriptions.
    It is interesting to know that the girl is the the boss among the siblings 🙂

    The pictures of the pool party are nice.

    Hugs,
    Anita