In November 2016, the female polar bear Malik gave birth to two cubs, Nuka and Quilak. The two cubs now play and tumble in the spectacular outdoor facility at Aalborg Zoo, much to the delight of the audience. You can enjoy the polar bears both indoors and outdoors, on land and in water, and they can be observed via two webcams installed in the outdoor facility 24 hours a day.
The lonely resident of the polar bear facility at Aalborg Zoo, Malik, didn’t wait in vain, and at last, she was accompanied by the male polar bear Lars. Aalborg Zoo worked hard to find a suitable male, and they eventually chose the 21-year-old Lars from Rostock Zoo. Lars isn’t just any polar bear; he is the father of the world-famous Knut from the Berlin Zoo. The birth of Knut was the first polar bear birth ever to be livestreamed, and the phenomenon has later been copied at several other zoos – even in Aalborg, where the births of the cubs Milak and Augo were livestreamed via webcam in 2008 and 2010.
Malik and Lars enjoyed each other’s company, and played and tumbled in the outdoor facilities in Aalborg Zoo. The dream was for Malik to become pregnant as soon as possible, so Aalborg Zoo would be able to present polar bear cubs once again. Already in November 2016, the dream came true when Malik gave birth to Nuka and Quilak.
The polar bear facility is among the finest facilities in the world. The design is primarily based on the bears’ behaviour. Secondarily, it is adjusted to meet a public request of observing the polar bears in a new way. The facility has 8 integrated windows where the public can watch the polar bears on land and in/under water - without causing the bears any distress or discomfort.
• That the polar bear is the largest land carnivore on Earth, and that the largest polar bear recorded weighed 1,000 kg (2,200 lbs)?
• That polar bears and the brown bear are so closely related that they are able to mate?
• That the polar bear’s toes are slightly webbed?
• That a polar bear’s fur insulates very well? In fact, the difference in temperature between the outside and the bottom of the fur can be as much as 69 degrees Celsius (156 Fahrenheit).
• That the polar bear moves slowly, but can reach speeds of up to 50 kph (31 mph)? If it runs for long periods of time it might die from heatstroke because the fur insulates so effectively.
• That the polar bear has an incredible sense of smell? It is able to smell carcasses from up to 30 km (18 mi) away and to sniff out a seal hiding in its den beneath a two meter thick layer of ice and snow.
• That the polar bear spends most of the year on the edges of the pack ice?
• That the polar bear’s paws are covered in fur, allowing the polar bear to walk silently and to glide on the ice.
Victoria was born in Rostock Zoo on December 12, 1996. She arrived at Aalborg Zoo on July 22, 1998.
Malik was born in Aalborg Zoo on December 19, 2000. Father Nanok and mother Nuka are both dead.
Felix was born in Vienna Zoo on November 24, 2001. He arrived at Aalborg Zoo via Karlsruhe and Tierpark Nürnberg on April 1, 2008. Felix is the father of the famous Flocke, born in Nürnberg Zoo on December 11, 2007, and also the father of two bears born in November 2008. Felix was only visiting Aalborg Zoo and was sent back to Nürnberg Zoo autumn 2010.
Milak is born on December 7, 2008, in Aalborg Zoo. Mother Victoria, father Felix.
Newest polar bear cubs, Nuka and Qilak, were born 26th of November, 2016. The mother is Malik and the father is the late Lars.
If you wish to learn more about the polar bears in Aalborg Zoo please visit the Aalborg Zoo website.