Bear

Sloth Bear Born at NaturZoo Rheine

IMG_7180pNaturZoo Rheine is happy to announce the birth of a Sloth Bear! 

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12215_gPhoto Credits: NaturZoo Rheine

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.

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Sloth Bear Cub Gets TLC 24/7 at National Zoo

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A Sloth Bear cub is alive today because keepers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo decided to hand-raise the cub rather than leave her with her mother, Khali.  The cub is now active and growing thanks to the round-the-clock care she receives from zoo keepers.

The photos below chronicle the cub’s growth from two weeks old to two-and-a-half months old.

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13288359815_cf0b861f6f_oPhoto Credits:  Smithsonsian's National Zoo, Courtney Janney, Connor Mallon

The cub was one of three born to Khali on December 29, 2013, and she is the only cub that survived longer than seven days. Khali ingested the first cub about 20 minutes after she gave birth. It is not uncommon for carnivores, including Sloth Bears, to ingest stillborn cubs, or even live cubs if they or the mother are compromised in some way. Khali, an experienced mom, appeared attentive to her two remaining cubs, and keepers monitored her closely via closed-circuit cams before, during and after the births. However, she ingested a second cub seven days later and spent several hours away from her remaining cub in the early morning hours of January 6, which is not normal for a Sloth Bear with a newborn cub.

Read more and see additional photos below.

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Rescued Polar Bear Cub Makes a Splash at Assiniboine Park Zoo

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Assiniboine Park Zoo’s newest Polar Bear is comfortably settling into her new home less than 24 hours after arriving on October 28 from Churchill. Officials from the zoo, located in Winnipeg, Canada, travelled to northern Manitoba to rescue the female cub after she was found wandering alone near the airport last week. 

Believed to be 11 months-old, the 94-pound (38 kg) cub wouldn’t have otherwise survived on her own, as Polar Bears rely on protection from their mothers for up to two years. Now that she’s at Assiniboine Park Zoo's International Polar Bear Conservation Centre (IPCC), the wild bear seems to feel right at home: she is eating well on her own, playing with enrichment toys, and splashing around in her kiddie pool. For the next 30 days, she will remain in quarantine, as is zoo standard procedure. This will allow close monitoring of her health and ensure that the new bear will not pass on any pathogens when she is eventually introduced to the two other bears at the zoo. Besides a few broken teeth and some bumps, she is generally in good condition, and does not appear to be stressed by her new surroundings. 

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4 polar bearPhoto credits: Assiniboine Park Zoo

See a video of the curious bear as she investigates her new surroundings:
 
See a news story about the bear:
 
The yet-unnamed bear is the third resident bear at the zoo and could eventually be placed into a breeding program to help conserve wild Polar Bears. She will be the center's first resident female, and their first orphaned rescue. 

"It's one of those feel-good stories that we can save her. It's a shame that you have an animal like this that you have to take from the wild, but with no chance of survival, it's the only thing that makes sense," says Don Peterkin, chief operations officer for the Assiniboine Park Conservancy. "The IPBCC was built for orphaned cubs. We recognized that there would be other needs, but we all have a soft spot for an 11-month-old cub who has lost Mom and has no chance of survival in the wild at all. She's just too young to ever hope to survive on her own." 

“Without the Center here, the options are fairly limited. We have tried in the past to adopt out orphan cubs with a mother and one cub, but those attempts have all failed,” says Dr. Jim Duncan of Manitoba Conservation and Water Stewardship.

The International Polar Bear Conservation Centre opened almost two years ago and is part of the larger Journey to Churchill exhibit that is still under construction, but is expected to open in the summer of 2014. The Centre has outdoor habitats for the polar bears as well. Eventually the three resident bears will move into one of the larger outdoor Polar Bear habitats in Journey to Churchill. The zoo is also looking at a fourth bear from Argentina that may join the others as early as the spring.


UPDATE: Andean Bear Cub Needs a Name

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The Andean Bear cub born at the Phoenix Zoo in January needs a name, and you are invited to vote through Sunday, June 30.

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Photo Credit:  Joseph Becker

 

The cub’s keepers have selected four names that they feel represent the little cub’s personality.  The potential names are:

Arturo: meaning ‘bear’ and ‘courageous’

Javier: meaning ‘born in January’

Luka: meaning ‘light’ in reference to the white spectacle markings around Andean bears’ eyes

Pepe: meaning ‘he will grow’

Voting will run until 8 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday, June 30. The results will then be tabulated and the new name will be announced on Tuesday, July 2.

The cub and his mother, Rio, remain behind the scenes at the zoo.  You first met the cub on ZooBorns in April, but as you can see from the photos, he is growing fast.  The cub will make his public debut sometime later this year. 

Andean Bears, also called Spectacled Bears, are native to the Andes Mountains of South America, where they are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.  Only 2,000-2,400 remain in the wild.

See more photos of the cub below the fold.

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Phoenix Zoo's Andean Bear Cub is a Boy!

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The Phoenix Zoo's Andean Bear cub, born in January, recently had its first vet check-up. After patiently waiting for more than three months, they received the exciting news that it's a boy! Rio, the 17-year-old mother, is doing an excellent job raising her young cub, who will soon be named. Andean Bears are a small, arboreal, largely vegetarian bear from the Andes Mountains in South America. They're also called Spectacled Bears due to the white markings on their faces which make them look as if they are wearing glasses. 

The Andean Bear is listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species with an estimated 2000-2400 left in the wild. There are approximately 56 Andean bears at 33 different AZA zoos throughout North America who are a part of the Andean bear Species Survival Plan. All work toward the future of this species through managed breeding. The Phoenix Zoo is a part of that SSP and the two bears housed there -- the male Rizzaro, and the female, Rio --were selected for breeding by the SSP. Rizzaro has only been at the Phoenix Zoo since the fall of 2011, but he and Rio hit it off right away! This cub is the 5th cub that has been born and survived in the last six years.

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Photo Credit: Photo 1: Bridget Tighe, All other photos: Christina Goulart 

Recently, for the first time in the presence of the keepers Rio let go of the cub, stepped away, and allowed the cub to be briefly on its own. As mom got a little snack, keepers shot a short video. While Rio quickly returned to her baby, this marks a huge moment in the cub's development. Watch those first baby steps below: 

This next video was the first glimpse keepers got of the newborn cub. About half way through you'll see the little guy yawn:

Here he is at 10 weeks old with mom behind the scenes. Rio cradles the cub in one paw as she gets some of her favored food (fish and pears).

See more pictures after the fold:

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Bear Fight!

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Kali sizes up her opponent...

On March 12, an Inuit hunter shot and killed a female Polar Bear near Point Lay, Alaska. When he realized it was a female, he searched for the den and found young Kali, a 3 - 4 month cub. The hunter then carried the cub to the Department of Wildlife Management who then passed the healthy 18.4lb cub to the Alaska Zoo who was equipped to care for the orphan.

Thankfully the cub has so far thrived under the care of keepers and veterinarians, exhibiting the trademark playfulness of his age and species. In these photos, taken by volunteer photographer John Gomes at the Alaska Zoo, the cub takes on a similarly sized opponent. Plans are in the works to relocate the cub to the Buffalo Zoo in New York, which recently welcomed another cub, Luna. 

Kali makes the first move

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Brown Bear gets the upper paw! 

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Exhausted, they agree to disagree

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Photos courtesy of Alaska Zoo / John Gomes

Polar Bears are one of the most recognizable animals threatened by melting polar ice. The Alaska Zoo works with Polar Bears International (PBI) to try to reverse this troubling trend. The Alaska Zoo is a PBI Arctic Ambassador Center, which means they:

* Strive for bear friendly exhibits with enrichment activities to stimulate the bears to be active and content

* Provide leadership for carbon emission reduction in their communities

* Support PBI research projects to help conserve wild polar bears

* Play a key role in the PBI Sustainability Alliance, a front-line team helping to save polar bears in a rapidly warming Arctic

Thanks to Jaymie Wahlen for her help on this post.


Twin Andean Bear Cubs Thriving at National Zoo

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The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s eight-week-old Andean Bear cubs received a clean bill of health this week during their veterinary exam. The cubs received a complete physical, which included listening to their hearts and lungs; checking their mouths, eyes, legs, feet and genital area; and feeling their bellies. The cubs also received the first of a series of routine vaccines. Although it is difficult to determine the sex at such a young age, the cubs appear to be male and female. The larger cub weighs 10.1 pounds; the smaller weighs 9.2 pounds.

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Photo Credit: Beth Branneu / Smithsonian's National Zoo

You read about the cubs on ZooBorns soon after their birth on December 14.  The cubs have spent the past two months bonding in the den with their mother, Billie Jean. Animal care staff and the public have had the unique opportunity to watch Billie Jean give birth, nurture her cubs, and watch them play and grow via the live Andean Bear Cub Cam.

The family’s public debut will take place later this spring.  Andean Bears—also known as Spectacled Bears—are listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, and it is estimated that there are only 2,000 left in their natural habitat. They inhabit mountainous areas from Venezuela to Bolivia.

See more photos below the fold:

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Significant Birth: Sloth Bear Twins Thriving at Tautphaus Park Zoo

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Two little Sloth Bears were born at the Tautphaus Park Zoo in Idaho Falls on November 29. Just about a week before, keepers performed an ultrasound on their pregnant female Sloth and saw a spine and got a heartbeat, so they knew there was one cub. Another ultrasound was planned for the 29th, but when they went to the den to perform it that morning, they saw proud mom Pria holding two cubs: one male, weighing just over a pound, and one female, just under a pound.

Pria has been an excellent mother. She's quite calm when she has had to separate from her cubs in order for them to get their weekly check up. For this Pria is rewarded with LOTS of peanut butter!

Meanwhile the cubs are weighed, checked for developmental milestones and have lots of photos taken to record their progress. And they have been growing beautifully. At three weeks their eyes started to open, and at four, their teeth began to come in. The babies have steadily gained approximately a pound a week, so now, at six weeks old, they weigh just about six pounds each. 

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Photo Credit: photo 1, 3 4, 5: Beth Rich photo 2: Darrell Markum

There are very few Sloth Bears breeding in North American zoos, so this birth is highly significant. Mom Pria, is 4 years old and arrived from the Sunset Zoo in Kansas in April of 2011. Mick, the father, is 14 years old, and arrived from Little Rock Zoo in Arkansas in April of 2011. This pairing was recommended by the Bear TAG. 

The cubs do not have names yet, but the zoo plans to have a local naming contest.

See more photos of the bears after the fold:

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Tiny Sloth Bear Cub Gets Vocal at Smithsonian's National Zoo

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The Smithsonian National Zoo has two bearing bears! The month of December was fruitful for the National Zoo's bears. You may have read about the first birth of an Andean Bear cub here on ZooBorns. Now 18-year-old Sloth Bear Hana has given birth to a single cub. What's more, it all went down on Dec. 19, which happens to be her own birthday!

Animal care staff are keeping a close watch on the cub through a closed-circuit TV camera, and so far, both bears are doing great. Mom is very attentive, and the cub has successfully nursed.

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At first, the cub was quite fussy when Hana would change position. Now, it is more settled, sleeping regularly and soundly. When Hana leaves the den for a drink, the cub tries to crawl around in the hay. However, it doesn’t have much coordination yet. It will be another week or two before it becomes more coordinated and able to start moving around more on its own.

At 17 days old, as seen in the video below, the cub is loud for such a tiny baby. Watch as it opens its little mouth and looks like it's trying to find somewhere to nurse. But the Zoo reports this is just playing behavior. Regardless, Mom is quite patient and attentive with her vocal little one.  

He (or she) is growing! Keepers estimate the cub’s weight to be about 1-2 pounds. It’s likely that the cub will open its eyes any day now. 

It will be a few months before it goes on exhibit. On warm winter days, Zoo visitors can watch the cub’s father, Francois, sunning himself on Asia Trail.

Photo Credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo


Seeing Double: Andean Bear Cubs Born at Smithsonian National Zoo

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The Smithsonian National Zoo is celebrating the birth of two Andean Bear cubs born overnight on December 13 to 6-year-old Mom, Billie Jean. The first cub was born around 12:01 a.m. and the second at 2:02 a.m. These two cubs were sired by Nikki, who passed away in August.

This species has a high mortality rate, with first-year mortality at 41 percent for males and 44 percent for females. The Andean Bear population in human care has experienced a lull in the past six years and these cubs are the only surviving Andean cubs in a North American Zoo since Billie Jean’s first cubs, Bernardo and Chaska, were born in 2010.

Animal Care Sciences staff will monitor the cubs on the Andean Bear Cam, but will leave Billie Jean to nurture and bond with her cubs without interference. It will be at least two months before keepers and veterinarians can determine the cubs’ sex.

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Photo Credit: Smithsonian’s National Zoo

The public can also view Billie Jean and the cubs on the live camera on the Zoo’s website or mobile app. For now the Zoo will be collecting screenshots in a Flickr album and is asking the public to contribute images and video to a separate Flickr album. The Zoo will also post updates on Facebook and Twitter.