Freitag, 28. Mai 2010
Time to meet Siku at Toledo Zoo....
When I saw these photos about a month ago, just when Siku got his name, I thought time was flying...wasn't it just yesterday that I had seen him like that when he was tiny 4 weeks old...?
So, time to visit that little guy...Fortunately Molly (the person and not the dog) and a very good friend living a bit closer to him, had the same idea, many thanks for letting me post her report and some of her beautiful photos of Siku & Crystal...!Enjoy!!!
"The story of my visit - Sunday afternoon with Siku –
It was a 3 ½ hour drive up to Toledo, and I was very excited to finally see my first polar bear cub. Since I have a Cincinnati Zoo membership, it was half price admission. The Arctic Encounter was right around the corner from the ticket gate. Because of all the attention given to the only polar bear zoo cub to survive this season in the entire country, the Toledo Zoo has arranged a viewing system. You stand in line for awhile, then groups of about 30-40 are ushered into a building, when a zoo employee shows a video, and gives information about Siku and his mother Crystal. Father Marty and another female Nan are out back, not on view. Siku weighs about 55 pounds, right on target for his age. He was born Dec. 3, 2009. Crystal had twins about three years ago. More talking.Siku had had his lunch and both mom and son were napping. The internal view enclosure was very high, you had to stand on a ledge to see them. He was cute napping; Crystal was sleeping too. After a 4-5 minute talk, my group was allowed to go to the viewing area – and we were allowed 4-5 minutes to view the bears. Then we were supposed to leave. I had driven a long way from Cincinnati to see this little bear, and I wanted to see him in action. So I lingered. And lingered. Several groups had come and gone, and still I lingered.
Crystal woke up and moved around a little. Finally, Siku woke up, and ran out to the swimming area. He has so much energy. He loves swimming, and he loves playing with the children who line up at the window. He took turns between diving and schmoozing the kids at the window. The children were fascinated with him. Crystal mostly paced back and forth while Siku swam and played.
Siku decided to swim to the outside area and play with the big balls and the huge floaty float. He really likes his toys. Then he came back and played with the kids some more. Siku likes to sit in the shallow part of the pool and chew on his foot. He is fascinated with his feet! Sometimes he would jump out of the pool and chase his mom, biting at her hind feet. Crystal looks really good. Her fur is smooth and full, and she seems to be pretty happy. Probably exhausted though, with Siku to look after. Mostly, she let him run and swim, and just kept watch. It is a great place for a young bear to play.
He had a little mountain to climb, a variety of pools, and some floaty toys. He seemed to want to play with the kids, though. One father warned his child that the bear was looking at him for lunch. I knew better. Siku was looking for a playmate.
I told the zoo attendants that I was taking pictures for a worldwide polar bear consortium, so they let me stay. I tried to keep out of the way for all the people coming through. I was impressed with the Toledo Zoo, but I didn’t like the time limit (which I ignored anyway). I suppose most families are seeing everything at the zoo, and their attention span is up in 5 minutes anyway. I rode the African wilderness railroad, and that was fun. I wanted to spend most of my time with Siku and Crystal. I hope you enjoyed my pictures. It was quite a day at the Toledo Zoo."
Text and photo credits: Molly Merrow , the lady "working for a worldwide polar bear consortium", see all her pics from the visit here
The first 3 photos are from Toledo Zoo
As to Siku's parents...
-Here an article about Crystal 10 years ago when she was named in Toledo. She was born November 10 in 1999 and was purchased from Zoo Monde Sauvage Safari Parc Aywaille in Belgium.-13 year old father Marty is the eldest son of Arki from Brookfield Zoo. He is also the father of Nikita (mother is Nan), Aurora and Anana (mother Crystal, all born in Toledo in 2006, find more pics of Marty when he spent some time in Pittsburgh here.