Nela and Nobby celebrated their first birthdays last month with a special cake and some unexpected birthday presents.
The two birthday bears who live in the Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich received birthday cakes made by freezing a continer filled with strawberries, mangoes, apples and pineapple.
The keeper then decorated each cake with an ice candle made of fruit juice and a flame made of cream. Placed next to the cakes were gifts.
But what do the little twins find more interesting, cake or toys? Nela headed straight for the cream, while Nobby approached his ice cake somewhat hesitantly before pouncing on a rather unusual gift: a traffic cone!
This really got the birthday party going. Nela and Nobby found a way to turn the cone on its nose, balance it with their paws, and then throw it into the water. The surprise gift was a big hit with the two bears.
Zoo director Rasem Baban said everyone is fond of the energetic twins.
The two are always fun to watch. In autumn, their favourite activities were chasing down fluttering leaves and wallowing in piles of them. Let’s see what they do when it snows for the first time. Over the last month, Nela and Nobby have had daily contact with their father Yoghi, who they are able to sniff at the cuddling fence. We continue to monitor these meetings to decide whether we can reunite Giovanna and the twins with their father Yoghi.”
The first year of Nela and Nobby’s development has been ideal. Nobby, who likes to play with his food, is well nourished, but only weighs 80 kg. He is considerably smaller and lighter than his twin sister Nela who registers an additional ten kilograms on the scales.
Like her father Yoghi, Nela is not a fussy eater and often eats more than necessary. The two little cubs especially enjoy meat and fish, but also like lettuce, melon and cooked soup with spices. In addition, they still get breast milk from mama Giovanna (8 years). To build up their fat reserves for the winter, the polar bears are currently feasting on double their summer ration every day.
Papa Yoghi (15 years) now weighs about 500 kilograms and mama Giovanna around 370 kilos. The birthday cubs Nela and Nobby are of course nowhere near these sizes.
The polar bear baby number 1 and number 2 arrived in the world an hour apart last December 9, 2013: healthy, naked, blind, deaf and no bigger than two guinea pigs.
For the first months after the birth, the two remained with their mother Giovanna in the maternity den in Hellabrunn’s Polar World. Under the watchful eye of their mother and her fat-rich milk, the two are developing quickly and has grown in size.
Check out this Flickr account for more photos.