What better day to go to the Kansas City Zoo and visit Nikita than when it is 18 degrees and snowing.  He was having an absolute ball out there today even though he was pretty stoic in this photograph.  I got some pretty bazaar effects having to shoot through 2.5 inch tinted glass, but I kinda liked it.  He took a swim and did some showing off for me, which I did capture on video.  The picture below was one of his big leaps out of the water… too bad it is blurry but I have no idea how to photograph a moving animal!  He came flying out of that water and went back in just as fast as he come out.  I spent two and a half hours just watching him… and could do it again and again.  However, there were times when I was very saddened by the apparent repetitiveness of confinement.


~ by kcjewel on January 21, 2011.

18 Responses to “Nikita”

  1. I went to the Kansas City Zoo many years ago. It was a family outing with lots of small children. We kids had a good time, but I doubt if the adults did.

    Is it cool enough for polar bears there in the summer, or do they live in air conditioning?

  2. hi sandy… they keep his pool and living quarters at 65 degrees year round. i think he has a rock star lifestyle. ; )

  3. What a gorgeous animal! That first image is stunning!

    Sad as it might seem, with the current plight of the Polar Bears, this fella will have a much longer life in the zoo. No one is taking away his territory and no one is hunting him here.

    I do wish, however, that all animals could live their lives out peacefully in the wild as it was meant to be.

  4. That is really a very nice enclosure, but it is always sad to see such an animal kept in captivity. I suppose it can be said though that the ones in zoos may do a lot of good for the ones in the wild when it comes to public opinion. Personally, I would opt for a much shorter but free life.

  5. thanks milkayphoto! i do too, but I also thoroughly enjoyed the time spent there today. there was a zoo worker spreading salt on the walkways and Nikita would look up every time he was within eyeshot and watch… like he was his special friend. that didn’t happen with everyone on the walkway.

    montucky… yes, there is a lot of education going on in the viewing center. many televisions with history of abuse and how we can change our lives to help the species, etc.

  6. The first photo really is stunning!!
    You’re brave, going to the zoo when it’s 18 degrees, I’d much rather be somewhere toasty warm ;-)

  7. thanks michaela! the viewing room was nice and toasty. ;)

  8. Beautiful photos! And I really enjoyed the video.
    Haven’t been to see Nikita yet.

    Sharyn :-)

  9. Great shots of an impressive polar bear. I understand the feeling of sadness despite the fact that he is living a good life in comparison with his relatives in the wilderness. A couple of great Swedish photographers did their best to make us aware of what was happening to wild animal, polar bears included, in the 60’s but unfortunately we have not learned much. Luckily, the attitude is different today so there is still time and hope.

  10. Thank you, he is impressive. Such true words Staffan. I’m sorry I didn’t listen early in my life, but I try to do as much as I can today!

  11. Sharyn… Thank you. You need to visit and plan on spending some time. He’s fun to watch as I’m sure you could tell by the short video. I had heard about his “interaction”. I was the only person in the room and he chose my window, out of about 8, to play in. :)

  12. You sure got some stunning photos of a beautiful animal. His enclosure looks like it is nice and he looks very healthy. I’ve never been to a zoo. I aways thought they would make sad, beacuse I hate seeing animals cooped up. He sounds like he has a good life, though.

  13. Thanks kateri… as far as zoo animals go I suppose he has a very nice life. We passed a sales tax increase last year to “help” our zoo and this guy is the first signs of the improvement. They say his area has five polar bear bedrooms, but he’s the only one there right now so he has the run of the place. ; )

  14. I really like that top photo…it is stare-able!

  15. I like that word stare-able burst. Thanks!

  16. Great photos, and I love the video, but I’m with Montucky on this one.

  17. Wow – I didn’t realize they had gotten a polar bear at the zoo! Guess it’s been a few years since I’ve been. I always hate how far you have to walk there and usually end up seeing very few animals.

  18. Our zoo is a product of what the community makes it. Possibly if all citizens of our beautiful city were supporters, and visited more than every few years it could be one of the most beautiful zoos in the US. The word “hate” is not something that I would use to describe a walk in our zoo under any circumstances. The irony here is, I’m a “Friend of the Zoo” strictly so I can enjoy walks there whenever I like… I always find something beautiful no matter how long, or short, the walk and to visit with the workers and hear their passion for the zoo, and the animals in it, is inspiring as well. Maybe leave the hate at home and enjoy a walk in our beautiful zoo more often… it can be good for the soul.

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