Sonntag, 22. März 2009

R.I.P. Swimmer - Kleines Frollein, ganz groß!

Swimmer, yesterday in Dierenpark Ouwenhands/Rhenen in Holland...impressed visitors with her energy and agility...Yes, Swimmer was a she, and not a boy, as I had still assumed until this morning...And she could already swim...Remember Knut, who took in comparison ages...He needed 5 months for what little Swimmer just needed 3! (Please don't get me wrong, I speakabout swimming and not about dying).

So she played and swam with her brother, always under the watchful eyes of her mother Huggies who never moved too far from her...taking care of Swimmer, placing her whereever it seemed less dangerous...carrying her in her muzzle whenever she anticipated it as necessary... They were in the water together, Huggies producing big waves from time to time but giving both babes a ride on the back when she thought it was time for a break...But then, from one second to another they dived and Swimmer must have swallowed some water, didn't come up . Huggies noticed immediately that something was wrong and took her out...But for little Swimmer nothing more could be done. The reactions of Huggies and Walker must have been very hard to observe, I will spare you the details here because it will make you cry. At least I think so as it made me cry.

I want to thank Frau Schnatterliese for sending me these photos of yesterday which makes it possible for me to say Farewell to Swimmer in a different way and thanks to her report I have an idea what happened. And so I know now that Swimmer was the one with the power of two and being so tiny was at least during all activities not a handicap as so many thought, me included. An impressive fighter who even dared to give brother Walker a little slap when he finally got the courage to follow her and Huggies into the water...

It is very difficult to accept the rules of life and death, the waste when someone has to leave way too early, this concerns humans as it concerns the animals we have grown fond of, something which can happen in a spit of a second by a photo or by a report of just one day, which was certainly supposed not to be the last visit...

Farewell, kleines großes Frollein Swimmer!

Photo credits: Frau Schnatterliese
See Frau Schnatterliese's personal account of what happened yesterday, here in German.

For those who want to read the English translation, you will find it here, just click on Kommentare , it's in the first comment.
Again, thank you Liesel for sharing, hope you don't mind some mistakes as I did it fast...


Simba hat gesagt…

Please find here the English translation (not a perfect but a quick one) for those who can't follow the original account in Frau Schnatterliese's Blog


born on 14.12.2008 - died on 21.03.2009

von Liesel @ 2009-03-22 – 00:00:01

There are things you don't anticipate, you don't expect and because it is like that, I have been since yesterday, March 21 app. noon, completely numb, I can't even say that I am sad or that I have to cry, just numb inside, something feels so completely wrong, that it will not set in, that it can't set in.

Yesterday in Dierenpark Ouwenhands I was standing in front of an enclosure in which first 3 polar bears slept, then got up, then went to play, then went to swim and then one polar bear drowned, honestly, I have never thought I would ever in my life have an image of a dead polar bear, I have never seen how upset and desperate a little brother could be because of the death of his polar bear sister and I was aghast to see how aghast a polar bear mother looks when she is carrying a dead child in the enclosure, when she is laying it down, pushing it slightly just as saying 'hey come on, just live..', but in vain.

Yesterday Swimmer died and somehow I am terribly angry, not knowing against whom as no one is guilty.

I won't post photos of Swimmer, while and after Huggies carried her out of the water,dead as we expected. But I will tell about it and who does not want to read it should better stop here.

A lot of what happened yesterday I don't understand, even when considering that Swimmer was the tinier one, only 5 KG as it was said, but she didn't lack self-confidence and power. I don't know what went wrong. I have spoken to some people in Rhenen and all confirmed that Huggies has been a very attentive mother, always caring and carrying her which does not always look lovingly but which in fact is lovingly. While Walker had to look for himself how to get into the water, Huggies grabbed Swimmer in the neck and dipped her friendly into the water as if saying, see, just wet, nothing serious, and when she took her into the water together with herself, then one could see how this little tot could swim, she even slapped her brother a bit after he eventually had the courage to join them in the water.

And they had been in the water for not even longer than 10 minutes, all three!! And they had their rest on Huggies back, and sometimes Huggies was diving together with Swimmer and I think during the last dive Swimmer got water into her lungs and that's what made her die. Huggies noticed that immediately, took the little one on shore but it was already too late.

Walker was extremely agitated, came immediately out of the water running to his sister, throwing himself beside/on to her,
tugging at her as if saying, come on, let's go and play! And each time when Huggies wanted to take the little one away, he clung to her. Then Huggies carried the little one through the enclosure, finally to the sleeping place, as if saying, hey, little one, take a rest and then everything will be fine.

I think it took about 45 minutes until Huggies had realised that her little Swimmer was dead. She has carried her then to another place, then she grabbed Walker and brought him to the sleeping place, let him drink, one could hear that it was good as he made loud noises.

But the mouse had drowned, and we all, but yesterday my father,my mother and I had met and experienced a teeny weenie polar bear girl who was with reason convinced to be the greatest.

swimmer – r.i.p. 14.12.2008-21.03.2009

Here again the link to the original German account of Liesel

And again thanks for sharing, Liesel!

Dostoy hat gesagt…

So sad... So very sad...

Anonym hat gesagt…

Dear Birgit,

thank you for that remembering. It was a very sad day, as the little girl had to leave this world. Now she is in heaven, been watched by the best caretaker she could have.

Best regards,
Jessy, Berlin.