The other day, Monday November 1, 2010 actually, I decided to give myself a day off from patio/yard work and instead, go wander around my favorite store, HomeGoods. I just LOVE that store, except now it reminds me of Andy and Kira and I get mopey. Ah well. So, the HomeGoods I go to is in Roseville and while I was driving, I remembered the Polar Bears at Como Zoo, and how I haven’t seen their new exhibit yet. I kind of had to talk myself in to going to Como, because I was a little afraid that once I got there, I would wander around there and not make it shopping. One of me won the argument to drive on past HomeGoods and see the Polar Bears. Walking up to the entrance, I started thinking of the last time I was there, with Kira of course, and it made me sad. Strangely enough, Autumn and Winter are the most nostalgic months of the year for me. Summer?! Spring?! Who cares, but I’m getting off track…back to Como. I walk in, pay double the suggested donation, which is a whopping $2.00 and walk right out the other door on to the Polar Bears. Back before the new exhibit was even thought of, the bears were rarely out at the same time, and they would either pace back and forth and back and forth, or swim back and forth and back and forth. It was really quite sad to watch. So now with the new huge exhibit, I expected to see them lying in the grass, or playing, or swimming in their new pool. But NO!! What was he doing???? Pacing! I could hardly believe it, so I called Kira! Figures, huh? She said that trait is so ingrained in them that they will always do it. While we were talking, I was watching him pace, when a big, dark shadow looked as if it fell into the exhibit. What really fell was what looked to be a tire (maybe plastic, but I think they would chew that up too quickly) and it was filled with treats. The bear stopped his pacing when he heard the thump the tire made hitting the ground, and looked up. He didn’t see anything, so he turned a little and looked up again, finally the zookeeper yelled at him to get his attention. He then walked a few steps, stopped and craned his head up to where the zookeeper was standing (way up on top of a tall wall/mountain in the exhibit). She yelled at him and motioned for him to turn around because she just threw him a treat. It looked so comical, the way he stopped and slowly looked around as if to say, “Huh? What was that?” Once he saw he had a treat, he trotted on over and began to enjoy himself. I’m assuming food is used in their training because when he was done eating, he walked right over to the doorway of his training cage. I was still outside, but I’m again assuming he walked in, noticed that he wasn’t needed and then walked back out. What did he do then???? He resumed his pacing. I didn’t even know there was an inside building, so when I walked in, I was shocked at the size of it. There is a whole other side to the exhibit, with a building inside with a training cage and information, and windows to see underwater and hear talks by the keepers. All this time I was thinking the other bear was locked up somewhere, when here he comes, from the other outdoor area, into the training cage and lays down. He was so cute and so incredibly huge. These polar bears are waaaayyyyy bigger than the brown bears (grizzlies) at the MN Zoo. Kira and I were still talking and she got on the internet and found out that all of those big huge brown bears are just that…brown bears, but to be a Grizzly or Kodiak, etc. they have to come from a certain part of the world, so all Grizzlies are Brown Bears, but not all Brown Bears are Grizzlies. Lesson for today!!