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Polar bears (old exhibit) @ London zoo

This is a very old exhibit with very little room with ony a small pool, built in the late 1800s (I think)

Polar bears (old exhibit) @ London zoo
MARK, 3 Feb 2007
    • MARK
      This is a very old exhibit with very little room with ony a small pool, built in the late 1800s (I think)
    • Pertinax
      Hey, this takes me back... This is probably the pair Sam & Sally, who were the parents of the cub 'Pipaluk' Before them in the 1950's era was Ivy and Mischa, who bwecame parents of the world-famous 'Brumas' during London Zoo's heyday. London Zoo polar pairs probably bred every year but very few cubs survived. They bred at Whipsnade also but of course were never so well publicised as London's.
    • Cat-Man
      I Hate It boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!
    • Orycteropus
      This part of the zoo (The Mappin Terraces) was one of the main landmarks of London Zoo, originally it contained six bear grottos. It was completed in 1914, and interesting to mention that it was an improvement in comparison with the previous bear pit.
    • GillP
      Gosh ..... it's really weird to see this picture and have it confirm what has only been a hazy image in my mind's eye for over 30 years (thinking back to the early 70s).

      It's interesting to compare this to pictures of the redeveloped mappin terraces. When I first saw those I couldn't work out how the desert mock-up had been done, but now seeing this and piecing together what went where 30+ years ago, I can see they got rid of the bear pits.

      FWIW, I hated these pits even as a child ...... but then my parents often commented on the conditions the bears were kept in so I took my cue from them.
    • Jacobea
      What became of Pipaluk? I have a sketch of him and his mother, and I always wondered what became of them :confused:
    • Pertinax
      shipped off to another zoo- probably in Europe but I can't be sure of that. Maybe someone else knows? Polar Bear cubs, when zoos bred them, would soon outgrow their 'cuddlevalue' and by a year old would go on the 'surplus' lists.
    • Tim May
      I realise that this quite an old thread, but I have only just encountered it.

      Checking through my old ZSL Annual Reports, I can confirm that Pipaluk was born on 1st December 1967. (Pipaluk’s parents were Sam and Sally; Sam was sent to Munich Zoo in 1975 and Sally died in 1975.)

      In 1985 Pipaluk, and all the other bears then living on the Mappin Terraces, were sent to other zoos. The Annual Report covering that period does not state where Pipaluk went but, from memory, I think it was a zoo in Poland.
    • johnstoni
      This could be:

      1. Sam and Sally. Other members have said Sally died in London in 1975 and Sam was sent to Munich that year.

      2. Amos and Mosha/Mosa....if this photo is between 1965 and 1967/68.

      3. Pipaluk and Sally (his mother)

      4. Pipaluk and Sabrina....between 1969 and 1980

      5. Pipaluk and Mosha/Mosa.....between 1980 and 1985.

      Male Pipaluk and female Mosha (Mosa) were the last polar bears at London. They went to Dudley Zoo in 1985, which was IMHO a worse enclosure that even this, before being sent to Katowice Zoo in Poland when Dudley gave up its bears in 1989. At Katowice, Pipaluk was dead in a year, Mosha I think lived for longer. They had both arrived at Dudley in 1985 I believe to replace 2 elderly Dudley polar bears, which were called 'Hans' and 'Helga', according to others on this forum. I am assuming these previous two Dudley bears had died out rather than been sent on.

      I believe Mosha arrived in the UK as a young animal from Moscow zoo in 1965, together with a male, Amos. London sent them to Whipsnade I think in 1968, but in 1980 Mosha was swapped back with the then resident London female, Sabrina (who had arrived from Bristol - where she was born - as a mate for Pipaluk in 1969), presumably to stimulate breeding or deal with an incompatible pairing. Mosha would then spend another 5 years on the Mappin terraces she had known as a young animal in 1965.

      Pipaluk was born to Sam and Sally in 1967. There are articles on Amos and Mosha on the Mappins from the same year, so there is a strong possibility that London was holding the young Amos and Mosha in one enclosure, with a second exhibit for Sam and Sally, who then produced Pipaluk in 1967.

      Amos and Mosha may have been acquired for Whipsnade all along, as London already had Sam and Sally on the terraces at the time, and the former pair appear to have been at London for only 3 years (65-68). I was always under the impression that there was only one bear compound with a pool on the terraces....if this is the case then it is very possible the bears were given rotational access to the outdoor enclosures on certain days. Also, Pipaluk was housed with Sabrina from 1969, while his parents remained on the terraces until 1975. Possibly there was a deliberate policy to maintain more than one pair of these animals, until they were left with the one pair from 1975.

      We discussed it a bit in the thread below, which contains some links to articles and photos of the London polar bears:

      it would be great to hear any other information people have about which bears were held on the mappins at different points.
    • Bwassa
      Amos and Sabrina were moved from Whipsnade to Chester in 1984.
      Amos had to be put to sleep in June 1989. He had been losing weight rapidly, and was found to be suffering from kidney failure. Sabrina survived until 1990/91, after which the enclosure was converted to become part of the Europe on the Edge aviary.
      I photographed these bears and the enclosure in Feb 1989. A photo of the enclosure is in the Chester gallery. I will dig out the other photos, scan them and upload them.
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