A Day at the Zoo – part 2

Are you ready to continue our walk through the Berlin Zoo? 😉 Then let´s begin!

After having strolled through the monkey´s house, I headed straight to that part of the Zoo that holds many of my very favorite animals.

One of them are seals of all kinds. I can never stop admiring their streamlined elegance and playfulness 🙂

The pool that holds the sea lions offers a special treat for the animals, an artificial whitewater system that provides the animals with a rough “sea”. The sea lions clearly enjoy this time of day most, as it is usually turned on an hour or so before the feeding 😉

Californian Sealion barking, March 2017

Next to the seals you´ll find another little pool and some boulders providing a small cave system for the African penguins, or “Brillenpinguine” (Eyeglasses Penguins) as they are called in German. This little fellow waved at me and of course I had to wave right back. 😉 There´s also almost always a heron present, keeping them company and most likely hoping to snatch away a fish or two. 😉

African penguin and visiting heron, March 2017

A bit further on our way we reach the pool where the beavers live. Visitors can watch them swimming in the pool or catch a glimpse of them through a series of small windows inserted on one side of their dam.

A Beaver enjoying a swim, March 2017

To watch them in their dam, you have to take a few steps below the ground and press your nose against the glass because it´s a bit dark in there. This day though it was the other way round – the sun reached into the little visitor´s cave and a beaver startled me because it was pressing its nose against the other side of the glass 😉 Providing me thus with this photograph. 🙂

Another beaver nibbling on a carrot, March 2017

This corner of the zoo also holds a special building for the Emperor Penguins, where the temperatures are always kept very low – a nice refuge on a hot summer´s day 😉

This pool is quite deep and visitor´s are often surprised by a penguin shooting up from the deep. 😉 And some of the penguins like to come up close to the glass and watch the funny humans crouching before them 😉

Who´s watching who? Emperor Penguins and humans ;), March 2017
Emperor penguin gliding through the water, March 2017

Now we leave the semiaquatic animals and head over to my very favorite animals – the wolves! In the Berlin Zoo we have a pack of Arctic Wolves who are lighter in color throughout the year, given to their natural habitat the polar circle.

The solidarity in an arctic wolf pack is even more pronounced than in packs of other subspecies of the wolf. A single arctic wolf could not survive long in the harsh climate. A pack consists of seven to ten, sometimes up to 30 animals.

Arctic wolf approaching me, staying on the other site of the visitor´s window, March 2017

Normally the wolves are keeping their distance from the visitor´s window, preferring to have a lie down a bit farther from the noisy humans. This time though something quite extraordinary happened – I had a little flirt with one of the wolves!

He (or she, I´m not quite certain, and really I couldn’t care less) came up extremely close to the window, lied down and flirted with me! That is to say, he/she looked me quite deeply in the eyes, blinked, made a woolfy grin, closed his/her eyes, and looked up to me again. This went on for quite some time, and I have to admit that I felt extremely flattered. 🙂 Somehow it seemed that the wolf knew exactly how much I love them…

Arctic wolf having a lie down next to me, March 2017

Although I had my camera out, I was so entranced by this occurrence that I nearly forgot to take some pictures!

Arctic wolf looking straight at me, march 2017

And before you start making jokes about the wolf just lusting after a little snack, let me make clear that they had been fed before 😉

No, this was definitely love at first sight. 🙂

Let´s continue our walk now and visit the Polar Bears!

Polar bear enjoying a swim on a hot day, March 2017

Currently the Berlin Zoo has two polar bears, and I´m sure you´ve all heard of the little cub called Knut a couple of years ago (2006). People from all over the world came to visit him and Berlin. He was raised by hand by one of the zoo keepers, Thomas Dörflein, who died suddenly in September 2008 of a heart attack, aged 44. About a year before the live-shows that had starred Knut and his keepers were put to stop because Knut had reached a weight of about 90 kg and it was deemed too dangerous to continue the close handling and the interactions with humans.

Up to this day many Berliners believe that Thomas Dörflein, though diagnosed with bladder cancer and then suddenly dying of a heart attack, couldn’t bear (no pun intended) the separation and in truth died of a broken heart.

Knut died in 2011 of an encephalitis, and is, like his “father” dearly missed.

This polar bear preferred to stay dry, March 2017
Memorial for Knut the Polar Bear, March 2017

We are now leaving the polar bears and head over to their relatives, the sloth bears!

Having already shared with you that I´m very fond of sloths, it should be of no surprise that sloth bears follow close 😉

There´s currently a sloth bear cub to be admired at our zoo but luck would have it that I only catched a glimpse of it and its mother before they hurried back inside for a little nap. They were too quick for my camera but I hope to remedy that next time I visit.

Sloth bear standing on his hindlegs and impressing the children with his height, March 2017

This leaves us with the Nasua, or “Nasenbären” (nose bear) as they are called in German. These little cuties are always in action it seems and are also well known for stealing away every visitor´s heart in a second. 😉

Nasua on the move, March 2017

There are many more animals to admire at the Berlin Zoo but as for now, our little walk has come to an end. But I promise to post more pictures from another visit as soon as I make it! 🙂

Hope you had fun! And thank you for joining me! 🙂

Published by Sarah

Artist & Illustrator

59 thoughts on “A Day at the Zoo – part 2

  1. Each photograph was very well taken and my favorite was the emperor penguin. Wow, Sarah.
    You told us lots of interesting facts but the story of Knut the polar bear and his “father” was very touching. It got me teary eyed. xo 💞🐾

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Robin! 🙂 I was lucky – that emperor penguin swam along a couple of times so I could make a lot of shots 😉 He behaved liked the perfect model 😀
      Knut and his “father” will always have a special place in the hearts of all Berliners and it´s lovely to know that they now have a place in yours too! 🙂 xoxo💕🐧


      1. We don’t have many right where we live (many more muskrats than beavers), but we see them canoeing and fishing up north regularly – they are really cool to see up close in the wild. I’m always excited when I do see one.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Hooray for another chapter of your zoo visit!!! The Berlin Zoo looks amazing. I’m totally in love with the beaver peeking though the glass, and the gorgeous wolf. There used to be a polar bear at Auckland Zoo when I was a kid; it’s fur had turned kind of green, and it always looked so distressed in it’s tiny enclosure. I’m glad zoo-keeping practices have improved a lot since then. Hope you are having a lovely weekend. xxxx 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Su! 😀
      I couldn’t tear myself away from the beaver – it was so cute, happily munching on its carrot and not giving a dam(n) 😉 if I was watching it or not.
      The green fur of that polar bear doesn’t sound good, probably some algae… When Knut turned brown because of the mulch that was covering the floor of his artificial habitat, people tend to ask where the polar bear was! 😉 He really resembled a brown bear 🙂
      My heart always breaks when I see distressed zoo animals because of too tiny cages… 😦 This is sadly true for our big cats house in the zoo and I never make pictures there and visit it always rarely. I just can´t bear it. Predators need space to run, and no zoo in the world can provide them with that. But all in all zoo-keeping practices have much improved, especially here in Germany.
      Wish you a lovely weekend and beautiful First of May! 🙂 xxxxxxxx ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We have otters at the zoo in Auckland, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a beaver. Yours is seriously cute.
        I have quite mixed feelings about zoos. I know that they do their best for the animals’ welfare, but they are inherently a place for humans to stare at trapped animals. Yet, I love the chance to see creatures that I wouldn’t otherwise, and I think lots of kids learn to love the natural world through zoos. Auckland Zoo is quite old, and there are lots of old cages — now empty thankfully — but a reminder of how inhumane the animals’ living conditions were even when I was a child.
        Is May 1st a holiday for you? It is in the UK but not here sadly.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I absolutely share your mixed feelings about zoos, Su. It´s a hard concept to grasp – we want animals to be free and yet, especially with our kids it is mostly the only opportunity we are likely to get to watch these animals up close instead of just watching a documentary. The Berlin Zoo really is quite nice and they do everything they can to make life as comfortable for the animals they can. But there´s another Zoo as well, in the former East of the city, called “Tierpark” – here the whole area is much bigger. It´s well enough for the herd animals but predators are also kept in too small a place.

        Yes, the first of may is a holiday here but normally you can´t really enjoy it much because of extremists looking for a fight and vandalizing the city. They even travel to come to Berlin to do this! 😦 So mostly I use the day to do something inside.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh that sounds terrible! We celebrate Labour Day in October, which I guess is sort of a workers’ rights day, but no-one seems to remember that and it’s just “yay, a long weekend at the beginning of summer.”

        Liked by 1 person

      4. It quite is. There´s much destruction afterwards and sometimes burned cars. It used to be a lovely holiday for everyone to spent time with their families but that was long before my time…

        Liked by 1 person

      5. We have protests that sometimes become a little bit violent on Waitangi Day (our national day), but only at Waitangi itself, and it’s very, very small-scale. I think the only way cars might get burned here is if they were parked too close to people’s barbecues!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a lovely trip and fun at the zoo with you, Sarah. 😀 Thanks for introducing me to some of the beautiful cratures there… really an exciting day! 👍 😉 ❤ 😎 Enjoyed this lovely post… have a lovely Sunday! ⚘ 🌻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Iris! 🙂 It was a splendid day and I hope to repeat the experience very soon. I´m so glad you enjoyed our virtual trip! 😀
      Wish you a beautiful Sunday and lovely First of May! 🙂 xoxo ❤ 🌷💕🐻

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! That means a lot then! 🙂
      I think you´re absolutely right with what you´ve said about animals knowing our hearts. It´s our constant use of words and babbling that can obscure a person´s real agenda sometimes I think, and animals would never fall for this.
      Wish you a beautiful weekend and First of May! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Amazing walk through the Berlin Zoo Sarah. The pictures are prefect and I am loving the wolves as well. Thank you very much for sharing these amazing creatures with us and the story telling was excellent. I hope you are feeling well and you have a great weekend. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment, Terry! It´s always such a joy to have you visit me 😀
      I´m so glad you enjoyed this post and the pictures. Are there any nice Zoos in your new area? I´m feeling fine and hope you do too! 🙂 This was your week off the chemo, right? So hopefully no new side effects apart from the tiredness. And I hope your pains are mostly oppressed now with your medication. Have a lovely and happy Sunday and First of May, Terry! Huge hugs! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately not 😉
      Thank you, Chris! Coming from you these kind of compliments always make me very happy! 😀
      To watch and observe beavers in the wild is so much better though and I envy you a little. I remember the beautiful picture of the beaver you took last autumn 🙂 Cheers!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Beavers are fun little guys to observe swimming around. It would be interesting to see one at the zoo because the ones in the wild don’t let you get very close. Usually, we just see them swimming around with just their face out of the water. Cheers

        Liked by 2 people

  5. I enjoyed walking along with you here. I also happen to like some of these animals as you too. The seals are also my favorite. I have an impression that they are “water dog” – dog that lives in water for most of the time. I love those deep orange wolf eyes staring at you 🙂 I am sure that is the love at the first sight. I did have that feeling looking at her (perhaps him) too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment! 🙂 I´m so glad you enjoyed our walk!
      You´re absolutely right with the “water dogs” 😉
      And thank you so much for confirming my belief that this wolf and I shared a special bond! 🙂
      Have a very lovely Sunday and First of May! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Normally I’m not a big fan of zoos, but this one is really remarkable., with great photos and narrative!

    Yeah, I think the wolf definitely saw you as a close friend. There’s always that tiny ache when you see an animal with its nose pressed against the glass. But, still, at least they are well cared for and are given a good environment in which to live. Thank you so much for a great tour! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks very much, Paul! That´s a great compliment! 🙂
      I know the ache you´ve described very well… and I´m never quite happy when I visit the big cats, their space really is too small and my heart bleeds every time I see it. That´s why I don´t take any photos from there. But you are right, the animals in our zoo are really well cared for and we are very proud of it. But there are many zoos in the world that should be closed immediately! I don´t want to point a finger, but I think everybody has seen some of them in news or other media.
      Thank you so much for joining me on my walk and for taking the time to comment! Wish you a beautiful Sunday and First of May! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! 😀 Yes, I think he mistook me for another rival for the lovely fish 😉
      Thank you, Óglach! 🙂
      You really have to see the Arctic Wolves one day, they are so very gorgeous! A bit smaller than your “average” gray wolf and with a shorter snout but very long and lovely paws. I don´t actually recall what I uttered in my enchantment to the wolf but he definitely catched my meaning because he looked so very pleased with himself 😉 I remember you saying that wolves are also your favorites? In this case you will know what I mean 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That must have been quite the enchantment, to tame a wild animal that way. 🙂 Or maybe he is a very vain wolf and just wanted his picture taken. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. LOL! 🙂 But I don´t think that was the case though 😉 I really had this feeling you sometimes get with animals that they wouldn’t hurt you but really like you. It´s hard to describe with words though. A kind of trust that works on both sides. I´m no Dr Dolittle but I´m known to easily connect with animals that are wary of human contact. It´s strange but I could swear that this wolf wouldn’t have minded my company at all. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I believe you, I know the feeling you’re talking about very well. Animals can sense when you mean them no harm, and not only that but they sense respect. Some people see certain animals as kindred spirits, and as crazy as it sounds, I believe animals can sense that as well. Thanks again for sharing your beautiful photos, Sarah. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I´m so glad we share the same sentiments in this, Óglach! 🙂 I get many “she´s-crazy” looks when I talk about this to people who simply don´t understand.
        I believe you´re perfectly right with your kindred spirits theory 🙂 And knowing that it isn´t really a theory I will call it a universal truth! 🙂
        Have a happy day! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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