Nikita the Rock Star Polar Bear!

Most local folks have heard the sad news that Nikita the Rock Star Polar Bear at the Kansas City Zoo will be leaving us. He is heading to the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro to mate with 15-year-old Anana. While it is very sad for all of us, we know that it’s necessary for the preservation of his species.

I thought I’d share some of my favorite photos of him with you. Below are the first two pictures I took of him. He is rather handsome, don’t you think?

What a Handsome Polar Bear!
What a Handsome Polar Bear!
Even a Polar Bear needs a nap from time to time
Even a Polar Bear needs a nap from time to time

As you know, he is the Rock Star most people see first at the zoo. He seems to know it and always seems to put on a show for them. Where else can you get this close to a Polar Bear as it does flips just inches from you?

Here He Comes!
Here He Comes!
There He Is!
There He Is!
What a Ham!!!
There he goes. What a Ham!!!

He seems to bring joy and amazement to everyone. People never seem to tire of his antics.

Amazing!
Amazing!

The children always seem to be laughing and squealing with joy as he comes so very close to them.

Hello There!
Hello There!
I wish I could pet him just one time!
I wish I could pet him just one time!
I can hold this fish for a few seconds before eating it so please snap your picture!
I can hold this fish for a few seconds before eating it so please snap your picture!

Sometime he would try his best to fool us into thinking he is really a Brown Bear.  He seems to love to roll in his sand box area from time to time.

I'm a Brown Bear.... So there!
I’m a Brown Bear…. So there!

Few people know of the Sniff Hole but it’s there for all to see and for him to smell us.  I’m not sure what he was thinking when he saw me though it on that day!

Who is that smelly person?
Who is that smelly person?

The picture below was taken when we celebrated his Birthday the first time. It was held a day or so before his actual birthdate, a Saturday as I remember. It was celebrated then so more people could enjoy celebrating with him.

Oh Boy! A Birthday Cake!!
Oh Boy! A Birthday Cake!!!

On his real Birthday, the keepers gave him a large toy to play with. I was very lucky to be there to see it and to record it. I have to admit, when he put his head through it, I was a bit concerned. What would happen if he got stuck? How would they ever get it off him?

Oh Cool! A new Birthday Present! I think I'll just wear it!
Oh Cool! A new Birthday Present! I think I’ll just wear it!

Well, not to worry!  He did not get stuck and he seemed to really enjoy playing with the tire. What great fun!

He is a magnificent Ambassador for his species. Just look at him!

Ok Bill, here's my right profile
Ok Bill, here’s my right profile
Yes, I can stand up too!
Yes, I can sit up too!
Just hanging out being a Cool Polar Bear!
Just hanging out being a Cool Polar Bear!

You know, we of the Kansas City area and those who have come from far away to see him are really going to miss him.  However, the folks who will miss him most of all will be the wonderful keepers who have taken such great care of him for the past several years.  Thank You! I’ll bet he’s going to miss all of you too.

Not saying Good Bye.... Just So Long for now!
Not saying Good Bye…. Just So Long for now!

Rest assured there will be many tears shed when he leaves in a few months.  However as much as it hurts, we all know that it’s necessary and how very important he is to the survival of his species. We are so lucky to have had him at the zoo and in our lives.

On his way.........
On his way………

While it’s too soon to say Fare Well, my heart is already starting to hurt.  You Big Guy, will be missed by so many ………….