5/17/2012 2:15:41 PM
Siku at 25 Weeks
Siku is now 25 weeks old. He weighs 37 kilograms (about 82 pounds). His tongue is now almost completely dark and looks a lot like that of adult polar bears.
He is still getting milk five times a day, which amounts to about two liters in total, and 500 grams of meat. His favorite is still the milk, but the meat is becoming more and more valuable to him.
Siku now seems to enjoy swimming even more, and has also figured out that it is a great way to cool down. Being a polar bear with very thick fur, even in the cool spring weather we are having in Denmark, he can get a bit warm—something that polar bears in the wild experience as well. But his little pond has a supply of cool water, and he always has the opportunity to cool down that way.
We can see that Siku is getting more and more used to his new schedule. When the park opened he had to learn to be outside for almost seven hours! But he very quickly learned to sleep in front of the guests, and now he is actually getting more and more active during the day. Getting bigger means more energy and he really knows how to use that energy playing.
We train with him every day to teach him a lot of the skills he will need when he grows to be a very big polar bear. Training is also an enrichment activity for him.
One of the new things we have taught Siku is a command to look at the person feeding him, instead of only looking at his food. He found it a bit difficult at first (food is very interesting), but he is a smart bear, and he quickly figured out that the only way he would get the food was to look at the trainer.
Siku is still seeing the other polar bears every day through the fence. Also one of the adult bears, an old female, has access to the other end of the stable where Siku sleeps. She has a very gentle personality, and Siku is completely relaxed about being able to see and smell her.
Here are answers to two questions that people have asked:
Q: What kind of sounds does Siku make? Does he ever 'talk' to the caregivers? Does he make happy or frustrated noises while playing with his logs?
A: Siku makes a lot of different sounds. Usually he will go around making a noise that sounds a bit like moaning, but he is actually just talking to himself. If he is hungry, he will sit in front of one of us caregivers and make a sound like he is a bit unhappy with the situation. But who wouldn't be with an empty stomach? If the food doesn't come as quickly as he would like it to, he sometimes starts calling out for it. He usually doesn't make sounds when he is playing, but if a particular log isn't behaving the way Siku wants it to, it will get a bit of a growl. He is actually just quiet most of the time.
Q: How deep is the pool? Is any part of it over his head? Has he ever successfully gotten a log out of the water?
A: The pool is about 1.5 meters at the deepest, more than deep enough for Siku to swim in, and most of it is over his head. He has never succeeded in getting a log out of the water, but then again he likes them in the water, so who knows if he is really trying.
Siku's wish is to reduce your carbon footprint to save his wild cousins.