Samstag, 31. Oktober 2009

Trick or Treat?....Happy Halloween...!

I admit, these photos are from last year ...
I kept them for today...
Here we have Knut and definetely not last year noone would have really dared to forecast this year's developments...
No, neither Flocke nor Gianna...
But Kalluk from San Diego 2004
And here Arki 2004......the mother of Hudson from Brookfield...(this photo is a fresh one of this week...)
Unfortunately I have no clue who exactly is meant by Whitey in 2005 ...
Here some photos I found on flickr...From the same photographer... Aquila.....from North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro where he is back again since April 2009 after he was moved to Louisville and then Cleveland to make space for two confiscated and rescued circus bears...which is another story..."Trick or treat" had been the motto of this handsome ghostlike animal in Indianapolis Zoo, sure - also already one year ago ... And this unknown elephant observed by an unknown photographer in an unknown year seems to set up his own rules for Halloween...By the way, next posting is somehow related, no, not to the pumpkin but to ...

Photo credits: Simone Frühlingsstern (1,2), Mervi (3), Jim Schulz (5), Spencer Green (6), Unknown photographers (4,7,8,12), ucumari (9,10), Laura Lynch (11)

Walking in the Zoo ...

Alfred Vance wusste es schon 1870 als er sang "Walking in the zoo is the O.K. thing to do....", mit seinem Lied verhalf er dem Begriff Zoo zu breiter Popularität, bis dahin tauchte diese Abkürzung nur 1847 im Zusammenhang mit dem Clifton Zoo auf, den Betreibern zoologischer Anlagen wie in London gefiel dies nicht unbedingt, vermutlich zu banal... Ein kurzer geschichtlicher Exkurs (engl.) zum Thema Zoo und ein Buch, das ich selbst gern einmal durchblättern würde...
Alfred Vance, a Victorian Music Hall artist, and ex-solicitor's clerk, was the person who coined the term "Zoo", which offended the Fellows of the "Zoological Society's Gardens" by which they preferred the "Zoo" to be known. Vance performed a song in 1870 called "Walking in the Zoo":

"The Stilton, sir, the cheese, the O.K. thing to do,
On Sunday afternoon, is to toddle in the Zoo.
Weekdays may do for Cads, but not for me and you,
So, dress'd right down the road, we show them who is who.

The walking in the Zoo, walking in the Zoo,
The O.K. thing on Sunday is the walking in the Zoo.
Walking in the Zoo, walking in the Zoo.
The O.K. thing on Sunday is the walking in the Zoo."

"London Zoo, launched in 1828, first called itself a menagerie or "zoological garden," short for "Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society of London." The abbreviation "zoo" first appeared in print in the UK around 1847, when it was used for the Clifton Zoo, but it was not until some twenty years later that the shortened form became popular in the song "Walking in the Zoo on Sunday" by music-hall artist Alfred Vance. The term "zoological park" was used for more expansive facilities in Washington D.C., and the Bronx in New York, which opened in 1891 and 1899 respectively."

"Vance's popular song "Walking in the Zoo" has been cited by Desmond Morris (in Gestures: Their Origin and Distribution) as the earliest known use of the term "O.K." in its current sense. ... The song refers specifically to the Zoological Gardens at Regents Park, London."

"Until the Victorian era, zoos were living displays of wealth and power, confined to the private pleasure gardens of the aristocracy. Then, in 1847, the Zoological Society of London began charging the public to view its collection of exotic animals in Regent’s Park. It was an immediate hit. The London Zoo captured the mood of the time. Elephant tusks had begun to grace the entrances to gentlemen’s clubs along Piccadilly; feathers from exotic birds were appearing on ladies’ hats." (from "What are zoos for")

"The first modern zoo, established particularly for scientific and educational purposes according to its founders, was the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes as part of the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle in Paris (1793). It was, significantly, laid out like a picturesque park -- a semblance of Nature emphasized by Rousseau -- while the buildings themselves housed caged animals as if in museum display cabinets. About thirty years later, the Zoological Society of London was founded in 1826 by Stamford Raffles. The Zoological Society of London stated in its charter that its aim was "the advancement of zoology and animal physiology and the introduction of new and curious subjects of the animal kingdom". The members of the Zoological Society of London adopted the idea of the early Paris zoo when they established London Zoo as a scientific zoo in 1827. It opened in 1828 in Regent's Park, admitting members and their guests. Only in 1847 were working people allowed in, for a shilling. London Zoo admitted paying visitors to aid funding of its scientific work. The taxonomic presentation of animals at the London Zoo became the model for the nineteenth century. The success of London Zoo set off a Victorian wave of similar establishments. ..."
(from "

We went to the zoo today...

The Golden Age of Zoo Postcards

by Alan Ashby

"Anyone with an interest in the cultural heritage of the United Kingdom during the first half of the twentieth century will inevitably find themselves drawn towards picture postcards.

They were enormously popular, and millions were manufactured, depicting just about anything and everything in the lives of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

But there is a catch: although deciphering the handwritten messages on the backs of used cards can be enjoyable in its own right, the photographs on the fronts very often tell us almost nothing they are ‘silent snapshots’ of the past.

In those days, just as it is now, a day at the zoo was a break from routine, an enjoyable diversion. However, the passage of time has gradually revealed some fascinating and marked differences between then and now.

Dublin Zoo 1914

These postcards show a politically incorrect world where giving a lighted cigarette to a chimpanzee was not considered out of the ordinary, where enticing a bear to climb a pole to earn a tid-bit or riding on just about any animal that would tolerate it, was the norm, all part of the fun. We Went To The Zoo Today... takes a close look at this world.

The postcards featured would almost certainly be impossible to duplicate as a collection of originals and, even if that were not true, it would take years of searching and many hundreds of pounds, to gather a comparable set.

See the curious zeedonk on page 78, the famous elephant trainer, Lorenzo Lawrence, on page 48 or the boxing kangaroo on page 38. All are now scarce, and most of the zoos shown are now long closed and some virtually forgotten.

Belle Vue Zoo c.1949

We Went To The Zoo Today... contains almost two hundred of the best postcards of their kind. They are often amusing, sometimes poignant, but always of interest. This book endeavours, and hopefully succeeds, to give these ‘silent snapshots’ the voice they deserve.

Sources and photo credits:

-About Alfred Vance,"Walking in the Zoo"/lyrics

-Zoo history on wikipedia/engl.& dt. (weniger umfangreich)

-Zoo (an interesting summary by Amusement Logic)/engl. article: "What are zoos for?"/08.05.2009

-Alan Ashby"We went to the zoo today", & on Jamie Clubb's blog

Und noch mehr... Lars.....

Hier ein paar Links zu Alben, Videos und Zeitungsartikel, zusammengestellt auf der privaten web site zum Wuppertaler Zoo. Sie geben sich wirklich Mühe, Lars auch mediengerecht angemessen zu empfangen und man kann auf dieser Seite viel Aktuelles finden.
Just to keep you all posted about Lars and his new home in Wuppertal, here a few links which can be found aswell on the private web page of Zoo Wuppertal, they are doing a very good job and you can find lots of updated material.
Neuer Eisbär Lars

Lars Eingewöhnung-Getting settled

Lars Portrait (with lots of photos of UlliJ incl.some of Berlin)
Lars on TV

Lars on YouTube

Lars in der Wuppertaler Lokalpresse WZ/in the local press (30.10.2009), Fotogalerie WZ

Es gibt auch eine aktuelle Seite zu Jerka...There is also a new page featuring Jerka...No offspring (yet) in this enclosure...

Source and photo credits: Zoo Wuppertal (private site) , UlliJ

Donnerstag, 29. Oktober 2009

Lokaltermin in Wuppertal...

Herbsttag in Wuppertal - Autumn day in Wuppertal
Besuch für Lars...- Visitors for Lars...
...Zweigesuchen....- ...Looking for twigs...
...denn mit denen...- with them....
...macht Abtauchen so viel Spaß....- ...diving is just fun...Finden Sie nicht? - Don't you think so too?Und nun wieder zurück ins Tiefe...- And now back again into the deep... Oder doch Ballspielen...?- Or still some more playing around with the ball...? Und was ist mit Jerka? Wann werden wir us vorgestellt? Wird sie wohl wie Tosca sein...?-
What about Jerka? When will we be introduced? And will she be like Tosca...?

Photo credits and more here:

Ulli J (1,2,4,8,10,11,12) und Liesel (2,5,6,7,9)

Danke euch beiden für den schnellen Besuch bei Lars!

Mittwoch, 28. Oktober 2009

Nachrichten aus Wuppertal....Lars first day out in Wuppertal...

"Neuer Eisbär Lars

Der Zoologische Garten Berlin gab den Vater seines berühmten Eisbären-Jungtiers "Knut" an den Zoologischen Garten Wuppertal ab. Eisbär "Lars" reiste am 23. Oktober 2009 in Berlin ab. Auf Wunsch des Tierparks Neumünster, der "Lars" an den Berliner Zoo ausgeliehen hatte, und des Zoos Wuppertal fand der männliche Eisbär im Wuppertaler Zoo eine neue Bleibe.

Nach dem Tod von Eisbär "Boris" am 9. September 2009 bekam die Eisbär-Frau "Jerka" einen neuen Partner. Allerdings blieben die beiden Eisbären in der Eingewöhnungsphase getrennt. Die Wuppertaler Eisbärin Jerka wird noch einige Tage getrennt von Lars auf der kleinen Anlage für Eisbären die Wuppertaler Luft geniessen.

Nach der Ankunft am 23. Oktober 2009 wurde der 16 Jahre alte Lars erstmalig am 27. Oktober 2009 auf die große Freianlage für Eisbären gelassen.

Ein neuer Publikumsliebling

Die Besucher/innen waren am "Premierentag" von Lars begeistert. Ein sehr lebendiges Tier, das neugierig die Wuppertaler Welt erschnupperte. Lars ging mehrmals ins Wasser und erfreute das Publikum und die Pfleger/innen durch seine große Aktivität.

Die Kinder fanden Lars "total cool" und knuddelig. Der schneeweiße Eisbär mit der markanten Halsmähne wird nicht nur der Liebling der Kids werden."

Source & photo credits: Zoo Wuppertal (more photos there)
-Sorry, no time to translate....-

Dienstag, 27. Oktober 2009

Cloak-and Dagger Operation: Lars, the father of Knut was moved to Wuppertal

Lars jetzt in Wuppertal

Berliner Zoo gibt Vater von Eisbär Knut ab

Berlin - Der Berliner Zoo hat den Vater seines Eisbären-Stars Knut an den Wuppertaler Zoo abgegeben. Eisbär Lars sei bereits abgereist, teilte der Zoo heute mit. Der Eisbär in Wuppertal sei gestorben. Auf Wunsch des Tierparks Neumünster, der Lars an den Berliner Zoo ausgeliehen hatte, und des Zoos Wuppertal habe Berlin nun ausgeholfen, hieß es.

Damit könnten sich wenige Woche vor dem 3. Geburtstag von Knut die Probleme seiner künftigen Unterbringung gelöst haben. Vor allem Vater Lars galt als Gefahr für Knut. Befürchtet wurde, dass er den jungen Bären tot beißen könnte, weshalb Knuts Eingliederung in die Eisbärengruppe im Zoo als unmöglich galt.

News which came as a shock on Friday evening...First the announcement a day before that due to a recommendation by the EEP coordinator, Flocke and Rasputin will have to move in the beginning of 2010 to "Marineland" an adventure park in Antibes/South France, where, by the way, until now I couldn't find the "promised" sea water facility for polar bears..., and then Lars!

Lars will replace Boris who died last month in the zoo in Wuppertal. Concerning Boris' death, the zoo did not comment on it, neither on the zoo's website, neither in form of a press release which was already weird enough given the fact that Boris had been there for such a long time. Probably the zoo was just too busy to negotiate for a male bear to start breeding again...Yes, I admit, that sounds bitter, but when it comes to such secret relocations, and then on top of it, to Lars, one of my favourite bears and to destroying a well functioning polar bear group...- I can get but sarcastic, even more by looking at the enclosure which is a far cry from being cozy and should have been modernised in the first place...But as so often breeding comes first. And as it had been background for the Knut court case, Lars belonging to Neumünster, and Neumünster being in charge of Kap, a male polar bear originally thought to breed in Wuppertal, did not want to see Kap move, so it gets all back to Berlin who sent Lars, an opportunity coming in handy not just because of the transport crate still in Berlin but also to provide for more space for Knut... Thinking that merry-go-round business further, it will mean in consequence that at least one more move is still to come as Tosca, the mother of Knut, could not stay in the same enclosure with Knut once he has achieved sexual maturity... Got it??
But here now the polar bear enclosure of Wuppertal ...

And here the new female polar wolves at Zoo Berlin, I admit, really cute, especially the little pup...both could be seen already at Zoo Berlin, the first days Lars had been away...
Just for the records...they had just arrived from Wuppertal...

Sources and articles:
- Nachrichten aus Nürnberg, Flocke Blog/BR, Lars ist weg, Flocke wird Französin
- Berliner Zoo gibt Lars ab, Knuts Vater zieht nach Wuppertal
- Eisbär Lars ist jetzt in Wuppertal (27.10.09)
- Kap

Photo credits:
-ChristinaM/Lars & Tosca, Frau Schnatterliese/"Essen Fassen-Fütterung der Großen
-Ulli J./Wuppertaler Anlage, Mutter-Kindanlage
-Jessie/Polarwölfinnen aus Wuppertal

- Jens Blog & Schwimmende Bärengruppe im März 2009 /video

Samstag, 24. Oktober 2009

Mercedes on video....

"Meet Mercedes the Polar Bear also on video who's packed her bags and headed for a palatial new home in the Highlands!"

And here the BBC video...

Freitag, 23. Oktober 2009

Kaffee, Kuchen und Mercedes...the first pics for the press...

Gestern war die Presse geladen, Mercedes beim Erkunden ihres neuen Geländes zuzuschauen, erst gab's Kaffee und Gebäck, dann zeigte sich die schlagzeilenmachende "Diva, ...-

Yesterday the press was called in to have a look how Mercedes explores her new home...Some coffee and cones before and then the headlines' filling "diva" appeared...

Here some extracts of an article published today giving also some more tiny details about Monday ....

"The final goodbye was a particularly emotional one for Mercedes' keeper of 14 years, Alison Maclean, who will spend a week with her in her new Highland home helping her to settle in.

She said: "The journey to the Highland Park went without a hitch. We stopped off to allow a vet to check her on the way and she was completely calm, lying down in the crate.

"Since she arrived she has explored every corner of her new home and investigated a whole range of new smells. I'm sad to see her go but I'll be by her side for a week and I'll visit often."

Mercedes, who was named after the car company which paid for her to be brought to Scotland, looked particularly dapper on the day of the big move, kitted out in her best dress – a thick layer of mud gathered from a last roll around her pen.

She made the three-and-a-half hour journey on Monday accompanied by Alison, a vet and a small entourage of four zoo staff.

At 8am the half-tonne bear was tempted into the 10-foot crate with a cooked chicken, with the promise of her favourite food – a plate of sweetcorn – when she arrived at her new home. She was sent off on her journey by ten employees and the sound of several shrieking gibbons. ..."

Full article here...

Photo credits:
It's again thanks to Aaron Sneddon who seems to be uploading new pics permanently...)) And thanks to him I have been feeling absolutely privileged during the last days as sitting in the first row...
I asked him too about his personal impression and he confirmed that Mercedes is enjoying herself tremendously. "It's like Christmas for her..." Concerning the staff, that they will certainly miss Mercedes who was very dear to them but that the staff in the Highlands is highly qualified and devoted to the animals, so he thinks it will work out fine..Please enjoy Aaron's photo sets, it is certainly the most comprehensive photo archive concerning the move of a polar bear...