Anton the Polar Bear (1989-2014)

I’ve just learned that Anton from Zoo Wilhelma, Stuttgart had passed away this Monday from intestinal injuries after swallowing a jacket or a bag, which somehow had landed in his enclosure. He would have turned 25 this year and was expected to live for 10 to 15 more years.

Polar bear Anton. February 26, 2013, Stuttgart.
Polar bear Anton. February 26, 2013, Stuttgart.

Anton wasn’t like any other polar bears I’d visited in Germany. He was playful and absolutely affectionate — he and Corinna were inseparable whenever we visited. There was this time when Irene and I were at the zoo, Corinna kept running between the two “rooms” of their enclosure, and he simply followed her, as if he couldn’t let her out of his sight (or perhaps they were just playing a game of hide-and-seek).

In a chance meeting with Jen, he shared with me a few endearing stories about the polar bear couple: how they enjoyed snuggling, how Corinna used to lick Anton’s ear and how Anton would act all shy or even embarrassed when he realized they weren’t alone.

This post is a tribute to Anton, the polar bear that was, and still is, loved and will always be remembered by many. You will be in my thoughts and prayers, dear Anton.

(More on the tragedy: Stuttgarter Zeitung)

Polar bear area

This was once Anton's home
This was once Anton’s home
The first time I saw Anton... or Corinna. I can't really tell from this picture!
The first time I saw Anton… or Corinna. I can’t really tell from this picture! (Nov 17, 2012)
Still holding onto their toy while napping.
Still holding onto their toy while napping

Anton and Corinna

The pair chilling in snow
The pair chilling in snow

Corinna being lazy

Anton

Anton

The polar bear couple

Corinna

Anton sitting

The polar bear couple

Corinna playing

Corinna hitting the barrel

Corinna hitting the barrel
Corinna hitting the barrel

DSC02492 DSC02482

Anton being handsome
Anton being handsome

Corinna playing

Corinna trying to break the stick
Corinna trying to break the stick

Wet polar bear Bear in water

Close-up!

Corinna

Smile for the camera!
Smile for the camera!
Anton just woke up from his nap
Anton just woke up from his nap

Anton

Anton sticking his tongue out
Final picture of the amazing polar bear…

We won’t forget you, Anton. Thanks for the joy you’ve brought us all…

4 Comments Add yours

    1. Véronique says:

      Hallo Jen! Wie geht’s? Ich wohne jetzt in Hong Kong, aber in etwa 4 Monate fliege ich noch nach Deutschland. Dann hoffe ich einige Eisbären dort wieder sehen 🙂

      1. bearjs112 says:

        Großartig. Viel Spaß mit den Eisbären. Es gibt ja in München, Rostock und Nürnberg viel zu erleben. Ich wünsche Dir einen guten Flug und angenehme Reise.
        Mir geht es gut.
        Gruß Jens

  1. BrigitteE says:

    Such a wonderful tribut!

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