Good morning, Marineland!

Jun 13th, 2021 | By | Category: Ralph's reports

13.6.2021 by Ralph Morton

All too soon it was the last day of my visit to Marineland in August 2020. Thursday morning saw Flocke and her cubs back in the large upper enclosures.


The whole family had been getting really muddy. Photographing them in the bright sunshine had some unusual results. You can see the lovely blue sky in one shot.


These were the last good shots I got of Flocke as she took the opportunity to spend most of the time in the doorways to her den. She was very disciplined and feeding took place at times and places set by Mother Flocke.



Upstairs as well as downstairs there are snow filled dens for the bears to chill out in. Unfortunately these get misted up when the bears are inside so it is pretty hard to get photos. The key point of the upper enclosures are the deep blue pools. Here a newly white cub shows the famous Polar Bear boomsie.


The enclosures are made to look as natural as possible. The cubs look much smaller against the rocky slopes.


Traffic cones are designed to be much more useful as Polar Bear toys than on motorways.




The viewing windows that allow you to watch the underwater bears are in the shade and there is ample seating even with social distancing! The place really helped me recover from the first lockdown.


It was not long before a cub (Tala I think) decided to check us out.




The windows really bring you close to the Polar Bears. The corners allow them to perch and look at us longer.




Human cubs are drawn to the glass too. Both four and two legged cubs enjoy these enounters.


Tala was joined by one of her brothers.




Standing behind at a safe distance was magical for me too.


Cubs underwater are always so special.





On the wall behind the viewing glass a large TV monitor tells the story of Flocke, Rasputin and Hope. So I can leave you this time with a reminder of how little Polar Bears get made.


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  1. Dear Ralph,
    How bittersweet, your last day at Marineland, and now the bears are finally gone from there.

    It was a magical place to meet the bears, so close through those pool windows, You are lucky you got to take this last trip to Marineland while the cubs were still small.

    Charming photo of a smiling cub.


  2. Dear Ralph!
    You had a wonderful time in Marineland.

  3. Dear Ralph!
    Thank you for this last part of the report about your visit at Flocke and her kids. Unfortunately, there will be no more reports about polar bears at Marineland. Despite all initial fears, this zoo on the coast of the Mediterranean was not the worst place for keeping and caring for polar bears, on the contrary.
    Flocke, Rasputin, Hope, Tala, Indiana and Yuma did well there and were lovingly and imaginatively cared for.

    I especially like your photos on the pane. The interest of the bears behind and the visitors in front was obviously mutual. You said it: magical!


  4. Lieber Ralph,

    wer hätte das gedacht, dass dies nun dein letzter Bericht aus Maryland sein würde mit diesen wunderschönen Fotos der Kids unter Wasser und den Jungs vor der Scheibe. Diese magischen Momente sind nun ganz besonders kostbare Erinnerungen, die dich nun leider auch etwas wehwütig stimmen werdem.

    Vielleicjht kannst du das Trio in diesem Jahr doch in Doncaster besuchen, denn überall werden die
    coronabedingten Einschränkungen gelockert. Da musst du einfach schnell entscheiden, so wie du es voriges Jahr auch gemacht hast. In unserem Alter soll man keine Pläne mehr verschieben – und das nicht nur wegen Corona!

    Ich wünsche dir viel Glück dazu mit herzlichen Grüßen

  5. Thank you very much dear Ralph.
    Best wishes to Flocke, Tala, Yuma and Indiana.

  6. Dear Ralph,

    Thank you so much for the fantastic coverige over your visit in the Marineland! We will never see Flocke and her cubs there again but we have your great reports so we can always look back to this ‘Flocke aera’!

    Hugs from Mervi

  7. Schöne Erinnerungen an glückliche Zeiten in Antibes.
    Das ist ja nun Geschichte, wie wir alle wissen…

  8. Dear Ralph and Mervi,
    Thanks for the visit by Flocke and the Kids. You make a many of nice picture.
    Bear Hugs