A Close Encounter With Bob

Do you know that a polar bears tongue is blue/black?

I do, because I just looked into a polar bears throat, just a foot from my head.

You know as a child at the zoo you have that desire to poke your face up against the wire and do everything your parents tell you not to and try to make the animals look at you?

Well Bob, our friendly polar bear, obviously had the same urges, having laid down a few meters from the wire of the compound vying for us to give him attention.

He had his back to us in that quintessential legs stretched behind polar bear pose, every so often raising his head to turn and look back at us and sniff the air. After an hour most people had gone back into the warmth of the lodge and I admit I had thoughts to myself that I would follow them shortly, so I crouched by the fence for those last few shots.

With just 2 of us out there Bob got up and walked right up to the fence and mouthed the wire right in front of us. The adrenaline was pumping but he didn’t seem aggressive, just curious, continuing to mouth at the wire pushing his nose right through and even managing a dainty burp.

It is an emotional moment when a wild animal makes the initiative to connect, we were definitely the exhibit in the zoo and he was the curious child, checking to see where his boundaries were. An encounter that will be etched in memory forever. It’s a shame that the weather has come in again and we may not get to leave today, however I have never been so pleased to have a flight delay, leaving us to have such an incredibly lucky close encounter with Bob.