It’s a fact – we all go gaga over a newborn. There is no denying how special it is to appreciate what God has brought in to the world and in particular, being able to observe how babies and infants experience their miniature world. (No, I am not one bit clucky).
In December last year, the celebrity polar bear couple of Munich’s Hellabrunn Zoo, Giovanna and Yoghi, gave birth to a set of twin cubs. The cubs, who are still unnamed, remained nestled closely with their mother for their first three months of infancy but have recently made their first steps on solid ground. Sneaky paparazzi images of the twins served the curiosity of the community while under their mother’s care – creating some hype in the community.
The public can now visit the tiny creatures and as you can imagine, I jumped at the first opportunity I could find.
Being a Sunday with amazing Spring weather, a big crowd was expected. Being in Germany naturally, appropriate crowd control measures had been installed. A supervisor fenced off the visitors enclosure to the polar bears, allowing about 40 eager onlookers enjoy the cubs for a 10 minute session.
During my 10 minutes, the cubs decided to nestle up among their mum and doze in the warm sun.
I was a little disappointed with the sleep ‘performance’, so I sneakily remained for another 10 minutes in the hope they would wake. I was in luck – mumma Giovanna decided to get up for a drink and was naturally followed by her miniature entourage.
The cubs were playful and energetic – not at all scared to get their off-white fur a little dusty around the edges.
While on the one hand it is sad to know that animals kept in zoos are unable to enjoy the freedom of living as nature intended, it is on the other hand a blessing to see them well cared for and having the chance to breed and grow – and it is this opportunity I am grateful for having. The enclosures in Munich are particularly large and well-maintained – green, spacious and with a definite forest feel.
I had been to Hellabrunn before, but was still fascinated to see the animals in action…
Or in some cases, simply basking in the sun for the sake of it.
*The title – only from one of Seinfeld’s classics – The Hamptons episode.