Here are some hints on how to tell which of our beautiful polar bears you may be watching at any given time on Polar Cam:
Chinook: Everything about Chinook is round from every angle. Although the beauty mark under her left eye was removed (see post Polar Bears: Chinook and Her Beauty Mark), there is still a noticeable dark mark where her fur has not grown. When she sleeps, she is normally on her belly and rarely on her side. Chinook often sleeps just to the left of the waterfall, back by the double doors, on the beach at night, or in either mulch bed.
Kalluk: Obviously much larger than either female, Kalluk’s favorite rest spots are the middle rock shelter, back double doors, and the plunge point. So far, he is the only one who sleeps in the sandbox under the middle shelter.
Tatqiq: Long and lean with a nicely round belly, Tatqiq’s face is narrow and almost a mini-version of Kalluk’s face. Her favorite sleeping spot is the shelter by the beach. She normally sleeps on her side, but if she’s on her belly, she stretches her back legs out behind and rests her feet above her back. It looks uncomfortable, but Tatqiq loves it!
All three bears are capable of covering themselves in dirt, but Kalluk usually does just one side while both girls go for the total look. Happy polar bear watching!
JoAnne Simerson is a senior keeper at the San Diego Zoo. Read her previous post, Polar Bear Night.
UPDATE AUGUST 1, 2013:
SNOW DAY FOR POLAR BEARS! Help us raise the funds needed to provide our three bruins with a wonderful day of snow through our Animal Care Wish List. Offered in $10 increments, choose which bear you’d like to give “snowballs” to!