In an article entitled “Polar Bear Breaks Glass Window at Rotterdam Zoo,” Amber James discusses this short video filmed by Rob van der Horst at one of the large animal exhibits at a zoo in the Netherlands. She poses the question: “what would you do if you’d been standing there in the exhibit?” and admits that she “would have been running for my life!”
The film captures an unexpected event in the glass-enclosed underwater area of the polar bear display at the Rotterdam Zoo. Two middle aged gentlemen stand together watching Vicks, a polar bear, as his bulky white form moves gracefully through the water. One of the men casually gestures towards the swimming animal, whose powerful body can be seen inside the display. The bear heads towards the surface briefly.
As the onlookers converse, a rectangular-shaped rock or brick the size of a watermelon suddenly sails downward through the blue waters of the tank to land against the thick glass of the enclosed display with a reverberating thud. The two startled polar bear watchers abruptly discontinue their discussion and scurry away from the area, moving towards the camera. Amber James reports that the playful polar bear had apparently tossed a rock that shattered the glass.
Zoo officials relocated Vicks (who has tossed rocks before) to another enclosure following the mishap in order to permit the repair of the glass. Fortunately, the material securing the water in the tank did not break and no one sustained injury.