Actual Videos of Icebear Babies
January 20, 2008 3:56 PM   Subscribe

I don't speak German, but around 00:28 in the top video ... he is talking 'bout poop, right?
posted by YoBananaBoy at 4:00 PM on January 20, 2008

Seriously, would vote Y for if the proposition ever went to the floor, and this would be prime justification.
posted by secret about box at 4:10 PM on January 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

ACHTUNG! ALLES LOOKENSPEEPERS! Das computermachine ist nicht fuer gefingerpoken und mittengrabben. Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken mit spitzensparken. Ist nicht fuer gewerken bei das dumpkopfen. Das rubbernecken sichtseeren keepen das cotten-pickenen hans in das pockets muss; relaxen und watchen das blinkenlichten
posted by growabrain at 4:13 PM on January 20, 2008 [14 favorites]

Yeah, but can they create air bubble rings? Nooooooooo!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:13 PM on January 20, 2008

I...that...Jesus...I mean,...BABYICEBEAR! And that TUMMY! I...I gotta go lie down for a second.
posted by piratebowling at 4:20 PM on January 20, 2008

I've always wondered if our primative ancestors felt the same way about the baby animals of giant, dangerous animals ZOMG SO TINY AND FURRY OM NOM NOM NOM NOM

...but I can never quite seem to manage to finish the thought properly.
posted by loquacious at 4:33 PM on January 20, 2008 [4 favorites]

I laughed way too hard at the term "BABYICEBEAR."
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 4:36 PM on January 20, 2008

Oh my God that is so cute. I am swooning from the adorableness.

I love how the scientists working with the babyicebear can't help going all gooey over her.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:45 PM on January 20, 2008

I've always wondered if our primative ancestors felt the same way about the baby animals of giant, dangerous animals

Like wolves and wildcats? Nah, that never would have worked out.
posted by empath at 4:50 PM on January 20, 2008 [2 favorites]

too bad the ones not in zoos are facing possible extinction.
posted by buka at 4:50 PM on January 20, 2008


The entire animal kingdom is facing extinction, everything except the insects, the squid, and maybe the rodents.
posted by effugas at 5:03 PM on January 20, 2008

As an aside, the naming suggestion period is now over, and the bear is named... Flocke... which is what her keepers have been calling her all along. Oh well.
posted by Huck500 at 5:09 PM on January 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

In the bear's next video, she will stare into the camera and blink every few seconds.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:29 PM on January 20, 2008 [2 favorites]

I'd like to see them try brushing it in a few years.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:34 PM on January 20, 2008

Awww! Thanks for that burst of übercuteness.
posted by languagehat at 5:46 PM on January 20, 2008

They're always cute until someone loses an arm.
posted by Dizzy at 5:46 PM on January 20, 2008

Vera was abandoned when her mother realized that she'd never be as cute as Knut. What the Nuernberg Zoo is doing is against the laws of nature.
posted by felix betachat at 6:25 PM on January 20, 2008

Where are the mathematicians? Surely polar bears evidence a supremacy of balance between baby cuteness v. adult deadliness not approached by shark, tiger or, certainly, human.
posted by Morrigan at 6:28 PM on January 20, 2008

How about snow leopards?
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:35 PM on January 20, 2008

Ja, wer ist ein süßes Eisbärchen? Du bist ein süßes Eisbärchen!

Knut on the other hand is at 1 year old and only 100 kg of weight already too dangerous for his keeper. He already has the mighty paws that can swim and crush and the jaws that can eat a human.
posted by jouke at 6:49 PM on January 20, 2008

MASTER of cuteness RACE
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:49 PM on January 20, 2008

Baby icebear twitching in her sleep. Very much like a human baby.

A friend of mine questioned the motives of the Nürnberger Zoo in separating the baby from her mother after the success the Berliner Zoo had with its cute icebear.
posted by jouke at 7:20 PM on January 20, 2008

Polar bear babies don't make air bubble rings, but I'm sure they do creative and impressive things with the blood and entrails of whoever thinks they're cute and gets too close.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 7:29 PM on January 20, 2008

Sure, they are cute at this age, but just wait till it puts on 1000 pounds of muscle and starts the cycle of uncontrollable killing...

That's when they get really adorable.
posted by quin at 7:32 PM on January 20, 2008

I liked the Polar Bear cubs better.
posted by juiceCake at 7:33 PM on January 20, 2008

That would've been cute with only the audio.

*schnort schnort slurple honkhonk gruntle grumpsch* (sorry my transcription sucks, I don't speak German)
posted by artifarce at 7:34 PM on January 20, 2008

I've always wondered if our primative ancestors felt the same way about the baby animals of giant, dangerous animals

Well, there evidence to suggest that humans are predisposed to find things with eyes large in comparison to the size of their heads (among other things) "cute". So I think there's some cross-species effect. That is, we find human babies cute, and along with that, we find other species' babies cute as well. I think further evidence is that the animal babies we usually find cute are mammals, like us.
posted by wastelands at 7:54 PM on January 20, 2008

Oh YAY happy oxytocin fix. That was lovely. Thanks jonson.
posted by nickyskye at 8:02 PM on January 20, 2008

[i had to giggle a little bit at nickyskye thanking jonson (!) for her oxytocin fix. isn't that what floods our system when we have the big O? why do babyicebears make you go all O-y?]

oh nevermind. back to your cuteness, comrades.
posted by CitizenD at 8:36 PM on January 20, 2008

posted by Galvatron at 8:46 PM on January 20, 2008

No bears for oil!
posted by homunculus at 9:27 PM on January 20, 2008

I really think they are missing a prime opportunity here to dress Knut in little sweater outfits or tiny jumpers. Or maybe a bee costume.

I think this is a major oversight.
posted by onlyconnect at 10:22 PM on January 20, 2008

I think they're cute when they grow up too. From a very safe distance. I just saw one in the wild for the first time back in November in Alaska. Even at about 600 yards out on the ice, in the dark, it was an awesome sight, like a great big silver flashing force of nature, an ice monster. After years of seeing them in zoos, I was unprepared for how fast and graceful it was.

My Eskimo friends aren't so convinced about the cuteness, however. Or at least, they see that as no reason not to shoot them. No one dropped this particular bear, despite quite a few shots fired. But the next day someone got one in town.

If you attend Ilisagvik Community College, you need to check the web page before coming to class to see if there are any bears on campus that day. No warning on the site today, but there is frequently a flashing red "polar bear warning" on the home page.

The problem is in part that the ice melt in the Arctic is SO severe that bear habitat is shrinking rapidly and hunting is becoming difficult, meaning they are more inclined to see what they can dig out of the garbage around human settlements, or perhaps a tasty human morsel will turn up as well. For those who aren't aware of the Bush administration (and the Alaska state oil company government playing politics with the bears and "endangered" status designation, see this Wired article for a summary. Enjoy them while they're still here. Polar bears are almost certainly goners with climate change.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:49 AM on January 21, 2008 [2 favorites]

Which is to say that I think that, while of course we find baby mammals of all sorts cute, and there is no question that little Flocke is a gorgeous bundle of sweetness, I do believe we are finding polar bear babies like Knut and Flocke especially cute because we feel especially guilty that we are in the process of doing away with their kind in short order.

If you twist your mind around it enough, it's kind of sick. But maybe it will have some kind of impact, incrementally, on the fight to save these animals and their habitat, which is as much a fight to save our own sorry asses.

So here, how about if everyone who has giggled and oohed over baby Flocke takes 5 minutes to fill out the NRDC petition to the Bush administration demanding pre-emptive endangered status for the Polar Bear. The oil companies and the Alaska government DO NOT WANT THIS to happen. It is up to millions of people who give a shit to protest the demise of this species. If they only live in zoos, they might as well be extinct.

Petition here.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:57 AM on January 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh, and I see homunculus already made a link to the excellent Salon article on this stuff -- rather cryptically and hilariously ("No Bears for Oil" would be a hell of a slogan for real and not just as metasnark). Sorry to go all eco-serious on this thread, cuz I luvs me sum baby icebear cuteness 2.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:21 AM on January 21, 2008

In fact, the phrase comes from the subtitle to Katharine Mieszkowski's article on Salon, link repeated here because it is such an excellent summary of an atrocity happening in plain sight with very little attention in the media.

Please read it. Oxytocin (for CitizenD, a hormonal trigger of the maternal flow of milk, and not just the female orgasm) is one thing. But some testosterone (as in a hormonal trigger to act aggressively) seems in order as well when there is ass to be kicked.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:31 AM on January 21, 2008

Thanks so much for including the articles and petitions!
posted by iamkimiam at 7:56 AM on January 21, 2008

You betcha.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:21 AM on January 21, 2008

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