Nela and Nobby: Off to new adventures

The undisputed stars at Hellabrunn Zoo are the polar bears twins Nela and Nobby. The adorable cubs are now old enough for their next adventure: exploring the rocky landscape of the Polar World.

Upon arrival into the world on 9 December 2013, the polar bear twins spent the first three months of their life with Mama Giovanna in the family home at Hellabrunn's Polar World. Since mid-March, the cubs have been able to enjoy venturing outside every day to explore the tundra. But the 2,800 m2 enclosure has much more to offer: it also features a rocky landscape and a large pool. The pool has a glass wall that will allow visitors to see the cubs as they splash around.


Zoo director Beatrix Koehler explains why the timing is perfect for exploring new things: "The twins are now six and a half months and weigh around 30 kilos. At this age, they are experienced enough to make the step from baby pool into deep water. The Polar World's rocky landscape offers plenty of exciting new challenges, perspectives, and play facilities for our two "water rats". The polar bear pool offers something for everyone - visitors and animals. A fun-packed day for all guaranteed.


The frolicsome cubs Nela and Nobby love to jump into the water, splash about and wrestle each other, and test their swimming skills. On June 26, the two will venture into the rocky landscape for the first time, accompanied by their mother Giovanna (7 years). The enclosure has two new bathing facilities, as well as large rocks for climbing and a pool with underwater views to cool down. The pool offers both the bears and the visitors a new perspective as it takes polar bear lovers closer than ever to the cubs. All that separates Nela and Nobby from their visitors while swimming is a pane of glass.


The normally shy Nobby is always full of energy whenever he approaches the pool. He sometimes attempts to steal the show from his sister Nela by plunging boldly into the cold water - set at 11ºC - before her. Nela, who likes to fool around, often indulges her mother and brother in play fights, as she likes wrestling around with them. Giovanna also enjoys seeing the little ones play together on their own. A little "child-free" time to relax and unwind is always appreciated.


All three polar bears love melon and usually eat three large watermelons every day. The twins are still on breast milk, but also eat beef, fish - sprat, herring and mackerel - and raw vegetables such as carrots. The two young cubs find it particularly exciting rip the herring with their paws, mouth and claws.


Over the past few weeks, the Polar World's rocky landscape was made "baby safe" for Nela and Nobby: all seals were renewed, cracks filled and drains secured. In addition, the rocks were inspected to prevent any possible risk of injury to the cubs. Giovanna, Nela and Nobby are now free to romp in the tundra or rocky landscape, depending on where their mood takes them: deep water or high rocks - taiga and tundra.