NaturZoo Rheine is happy to announce the birth of a Sloth Bear!
The cub was born on December 6, 2014, but the news of the birth was kept under-cover in order to allow much needed bonding time with the mother. Remote control cameras, in the den, showed the mother was doing an outstanding job with her new offspring, during this time. In early February, it was determined the cub is a male. Zoo staff have named the new little guy ‘Niko’.
Sloth Bears, originating from India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, are rare sights in zoos. There are just 25 individuals kept in European zoos, and these are managed by a breeding-programme (EEP). This season, only Zoo Leipzig and NaturZoo Rheine are lucky enough to have successful births of this unique bear species, which is characterized by a shaggy black coat, long claws and long snout.
NaturZoo Rheine has cared for Sloth Bears since 2009 when a new state-of-the-art bear-enclosure was opened. There was a first birth in December 2013, but the young was found dead two days after birth. Hopefully, Niko will be the first successful birth and rearing of a Sloth Bear in Rheine.
The parents of Niko are both zoo-born themselves: Father “Franz” was born in Leipzig Zoo in 2005, and mother “Devi” originates from Zoo Berlin, where she was born in 2008.
It will take several more weeks until the young bear will start to explore the outdoor-enclosure. So far he is exercising in the indoor-rooms.