Saturday, October 30, 2010
Polar Bear Plunge, Seriuosly! 北极熊玩斗
We always take a left to the "tiger" route at the zoo. It was not so much a routine but a natural inclination. Today however, I handed a map to the new boyscout, and asked him to lead the way. He set a course by turning right, up all the way to the back of the zoo where we normally do not reach, and we were richly blessed by this little adventure and veer from routines.
Now we were just steps away from the polar bear plunge, and as soon as we walked in, we saw that the exhibit had seriously lived up to its name today. Two full grown bears were holding each others' fat paws between their razor sharp teeth, slipping off rocks and diving into the pool of ice cold water. They emerged to grab hold of each other once more, one managed to push the others head down all the way until he was completely upside down. The head standing bear leaped up to bite the others' paw again and dragged him off against the glass where their massive bodies were pressed flat, dripping wet, white against black skin, covering 10-12 audiences wide in dropped jaws and dollar sized eyes, cameras flashing like paparazzi chasing another drunken teenage celebrity. Almost as fiercely as they were frolicking, they suddenly separated in pin drop silence. Before we knew, the larger bear was holding a carrot with both paws and sitting with his back against the glass munching on it like a baby. A fresh salmon was to follow as a proper main course, enjoyed slowly, playfully and methodically. He bit, tore, tossed, caught, dug, flip, dove, twist, and turned the meal and himself dozens of ways and dozens of times, now above and then under the water, now sitting and then standing, now chasing and then munching, he put on a beautiful, chilling, scary, and entertaining show for the stunned yet appreciative audience.