‘Pipaluk and Sally at London Zoo’ postcard

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`Pipaluk and Sally at London Zoo’ postcard. This month’s artefact is a postcard showing Pipaluk with his mother, Sally. The photograph was taken by ZSL photographer Michael Lyster, the Zoo's photographer for many years. Knut the polar bear has been in the news recently, but ZSL London Zoo has also had two famous polar bear cubs: Brumas and Pipaluk. 

Postcard of polar bears Pipaluk and Sally
Pipaluk and Sally
Pipaluk’s parents, Sam and Sally, had arrived as young cubs from Moscow Zoo in 1960. Pipaluk was born at ZSL London Zoo on 1 December 1967. The name ‘Pipaluk’, which rhymes with ‘book’, was chosen from a list of Inuit (Eskimo) names – it means ‘the little one’. The bear cub was enormously popular with visitors – songs and poems were written and toy bears, Pipaluk balls, cartoons, models, badges and even tea towels were made. Pipaluk left the Zoo in 1985 when the Mappin Terraces (which housed all the bears) were closed, and went to live in a Zoo in Poland. He died at the age of 22. ZSL Library has a fascinating collection of postcards which visitors are welcome to see.

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