April 23, 13 | Eri Makino
"Maruyama Zoo" - Currently celebrating the birth of twin baby polar bears!
In December of 2012, Maruyama Zoo's resident polar bear mother "Lara" gave birth to twin babies!
This past March the twins were finally put into a pen where they could be viewed by the public. Watching these two cubs play and follow their mother around was enough to keep visitors watching for hours.
Lara has given birth to seven cubs now, and she is known for bing a good mother. This is actually the second time she's given birth to twins!
The image of the mother bear snuggling with her cubs truly warms the heart but on April 20th, the cubs were introduced to the pool and finally allowed to play in the water!
Breeding polar bears in captivity is quite difficult, but even in the wild numbers have been dwindling due to a deteriorating natural environment. Since the year 2000 only two places in Japan have successfully birthed baby polar bears, Oga Aquarium and Maruyama Zoo. Of these Maruyama Zoo is the only place to have twins!
The polar bear's keeper has a blog where he writes updates on the twins progress as well as the general state of the bears.
「しろくま通信」 (Bear Communication)
For those who visit the park, be sure to check out the "Dokidoki Experience for All" program held daily.
During this program the keepers explain a specific point about an animal, or allow visitors to get an up close look at the animal's meals.
Because it changes daily, be sure to check out the home page or the park notice board for information.
You can also call Sapporo City Call Center to inquire: 011-222-4894
Another unique program is the "Birds of Prey Free Flight" where you can learn about the qualifications necessary to raise raptors, see the birds up close, and even hold them on your arm!
※Activities change depending on the weather and the animal's conditions.
I'd also like to introduce a few animals from the zoo!
A beautiful snow leopard.
The brown bear can be viewed quite close up.
My favorite, however, is the Malayan Sun Bear.
This animal looks almost like it's a man in a giant bear suit!
Although it seems a bit violent here...
...it quickly turns into sleep time!
There s also a cafe in the zoo.
To get to the zoo you can either take a five minute bus ride from "Maruyama Park Station" or walk.
In the warmer months I definitely suggest walking. The path takes you through a beautiful forest and past a shrine, making it a pleasant journey.
During May, you can view cherry-blossoms in the park, and perhaps even enjoy a picnic while enjoying the view.
From July 14th to the 16th, the nearby Hokkaido Shrine will hold its annual festival, so be sure to stop by!
【2013 Spring Events】
・円山動物園春まつり (Maruyama Zoo Spring Festival)
April 27th to May 6th
・春の夜間延長「夜桜ＺＯＯ」 (Long Spring Nights - Cherry Blossom Viewing)
On May 5th the park will stay open until 9:00.
Price of admission is the same, but they will close the gates at 8:30.
・Temporary parking at Bankei and a free shuttle bus "Maruyaman-Go"
April 27th-29th and May 3rd-6th
Price: Regular Car - 700 Yen. Large or Medium Cars - 1,000 Yen.
From Bankei Parking to Maruyama Zoo: 8:30-4:00
From Maruyama Zoo to Bankei Parking: 11:00-5:30
【札幌市円山動物園】 (Sapporo Maruyama Zoo)
(3-1 Miyagaoka, Chuou-ku, Sapporo)
From February 1st until October 31st: 9:00-5:00
From November 1st until January 31st: 9:00-4:00
December 29th, 30th, and 31st.
Annual Passport: 1000 Yen
Adult (High school and up): 600 Yen
Children (Junior high and younger): Free
(Hokkaido Likers Photo Writer - Eri Makino)
★Sapporo Smile SAPP‿RO