Polar Bear

Polar Bears Get Ready for Important Mother’s Day

1_Anana's polar-bear-cub-slide-5e121c932bd2f67d7bdc2ff0000bf4b43

ZooBorns introduced readers to Columbus Zoo and Aquarium's trio of Polar Bear cubs in our featured article posted on International Polar Bear Day: "A Trio of Polar Bears for 'International Polar Bear Day' ".

On November 8, first-time mom, Anana, gave birth to twins at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (unfortunately, one of the cubs passed away soon after). On November 16, Anana’s own twin sister, Aurora, also gave birth to twins!

Aurora and her twins recently made their much-anticipated public debut, and it was announced that the twins are male and female. Anana and her female cub also made their first public appearance!

The Zoo reports that the three cubs will not be on view together, as female Polar Bears typically raise their young independently.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and The Wilds staff are naming the twins through one of the many employee initiatives raising funds for conservation.

However, Polar Bear fans can vote for the moniker of Anana’s female cub through a naming contest via the Zoo’s website: www.ColumbusZoo.org/NameTheCub

Just follow the link to their page and cast a vote for one of the pre-selected names before May 2. The names for all the cubs will be announced on Mother’s Day, May 14!

2_Anana's polar-bear-cub-slide-3ac21c932bd2f67d7bdc2ff0000bf4b43

3_Anana's polar-bear-cub-slide-4c021c932bd2f67d7bdc2ff0000bf4b43

4_Anana's polar-bear-cub-slide-29521c932bd2f67d7bdc2ff0000bf4b43Photo Credits: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium (Images 1-4: Anana and her daughter / Images 5-8: Aurora and her male and female twins)

Continue reading "Polar Bears Get Ready for Important Mother’s Day" »


Polar Bear Cubs Entertain Guests of Aalborg Zoo

1_33187873853_698cf13af6_k

Visitors to Aalborg Zoo, in Denmark, have been enjoying the antics of two adorable Polar Bear sisters.

The female cubs were born November 26 to mom, Malik, and the trio emerged from their birthing den in late February.

2_34000719675_6fe256d0bd_k

3_33959227706_d8c807a66b_k

4_33187808693_7ffd569648_kPhoto Credits: Ulli Joerres

The Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus) is a carnivorous bear that is native to the circumpolar north including the United States (Alaska), Canada, Russia, Norway and Denmark (Greenland).

Polar Bears generally have their first set of cubs between the ages of four and eight years. Due to delayed implantation, the gestation period can range from about 195 to 265 days. Pregnant Polar Bears den in the fall and give birth, generally to two cubs, in the winter. The cubs grow quickly on their mother’s fat-rich milk before emerging from the den in the spring.

Polar Bears are at the top of the Arctic food chain and primarily eat seals. Their populations are declining due to the disappearance of sea ice, and experts estimate that only 20,000-25,000 Polar Bears are left in the wild. Some scientists believe if the warming trend continues two-thirds of the population could disappear by the year 2050.

The Polar Bear is currently classified as “Vulnerable” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. At least three of the nineteen subpopulations are currently in decline.

More great pics below the fold!

Continue reading "Polar Bear Cubs Entertain Guests of Aalborg Zoo" »


Polar Bear Cub Emerges From Den and Explores Everything

20170224_MM_24748After 14 weeks snuggling with her mother in the birthing den, a big day arrived for a female Polar Bear cub at Munich Zoo Hellabrunn:  The baby and mom Giovanna emerged from the den for the first time to explore their tundra habitat. 

Everything is new and exciting for the cub, who, still somewhat unsteady on her feet, ventured out cautiously onto the grounds of the tundra enclosure. There was so much new to discover: every ray of sun, every blade of grass, and every stone had to be closely examined. Determined to explore everything, the little polar bear followed Giovanna's every step in this unknown world.

Eisbaerenbaby_TierparkHellabrunn_2017_JoergKoch_64
Eisbaerenbaby_TierparkHellabrunn_2017_JoergKoch_63Photo Credits:  Joerg Koch, Marc Mueller

After spending the last few months in the mothering den, Giovanna has used up almost all her fat reserves and as a result lost much weight, which is normal for Polar Bear mothers. Giovanna is gradually returning to her normal diet, and her cub is trying bits of solid food. The cub still drinks her mother’s milk, which will continue for two more years.

Zoo director Rasem Baban said, "In the last three months, Giovanna has shown herself to be an experienced and patient mother. It is a great joy to watch her show her cub the world outside the mothering den. The little one will discover more and more every day and become increasingly bolder." 

The little cub, who is not yet named, is an ambassador for her species, which is under threat from shrinking sea ice.  As ice in the Arctic diminishes, Polar Bears’ ability to hunt seals from the ice is impaired. Polar Bears are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

See more photos below!

Continue reading "Polar Bear Cub Emerges From Den and Explores Everything" »


A Trio of Polar Bears for 'International Polar Bear Day'

1_Anana's_Polar Bear Cub 5439 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Today is ‘International Polar Bear Day’, and in honor of the efforts to save this species, we are introducing you to a trio of adorable new cubs!

On November 8, a Polar Bear named Anana gave birth to twins at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. On November 16, her sister, Aurora, also gave birth to twin cubs. However, this great news was met with the unfortunate passing of one of Anana’s cubs.

This is Aurora’s third time producing twins; the first litter did not survive and the now famous, Nora, was born in the second litter on November 6, 2015. Nora was hand reared by the Zoo team after Aurora left her alone in the den when she was six days old.

Activity inside the dens was being monitored using remote cameras, and the reason for the loss of Anana’s cub will likely never be known. Animal care staff members, who had been observing Anana and Aurora 24 hours a day, noted the cub stopped moving, but Anana continued to groom the cub and held it in position to nurse.

“At this time, both Anana and Aurora are attentively caring for their cubs but the sudden loss of one of Anana’s cubs is a sad reminder of how fragile their lives are both in our care and in their native Arctic environment,” said Carrie Pratt, Curator of North America and Polar Frontier. “We remain hopeful for the survival of these cubs as well as for the future of Polar Bears.”

2_Aurora's Polar Bear Cubs 6173 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

3_Aurora's Polar Bear Cubs 6233 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

4_Anana's_Polar Bear Cub 5545 - Grahm S. Jones, Columbus Zoo and AquariumPhoto Credits: Columbus Zoo & Aquarium / Grahm S. Jones (Images: 1-9,11,12) ; Amanda Carberry (Image: 10)

The sire to all the cubs is 28-year-old Nanuq who came to the Columbus Zoo in 2012. As long as Aurora and Anana continue to care for cubs in their dens, Nanuq is the only Polar Bear visible to guests.

Anana and her cub are taking baby steps to explore other areas of the maternity den. The little one is now eating chow and will also steal little slivers of meat from mom. The cub is also climbing and running on sand piles and sod. After being introduced to a few inches of water (up to the belly), the cub is a big fan. The cub’s sex will be confirmed during the vet wellness check-up in the coming weeks, and both mom and baby will remain off-view until spring.

Aurora and her twin cubs are also experiencing similar milestones as her sister and cub. The cubs are being introduced to more of the behind-the-scenes yards with sand and sod (slowly growing their world) and they are doing great. They are also eating chow and sneaking bits of meat from mom. The twins have been introduced to a few inches of water. According to keepers, they will put all four paws in, splash around and stick their snouts in. Afterwards, they like to roll on the sod to dry off. The twins’ sex will be confirmed during their vet wellness check-up in the coming weeks, and, as with Anana and cub, both mom and babies will likely be on view in the spring.

Nanuq is the oldest male Polar Bear to reproduce in a North American zoo. Nine-year-old twins Aurora and Anana arrived at the Columbus Zoo in 2010 when the Polar Frontier region opened. All three bears came from other zoos on breeding loans as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan (SSP) for the threatened species.

Female Polar Bears generally have their first set of cubs between the ages of four and eight years. Due to delayed implantation, the gestation period can range from about 195 to 265 days. Pregnant Polar Bears den in the fall and give birth, generally to two cubs, in the winter. The cubs grow quickly on their mother’s fat-rich milk before emerging from the den in the spring.

Polar Bears are native to the circumpolar north including the United States (Alaska), Canada, Russia, Norway and Denmark (Greenland). They are at the top of the Arctic food chain and primarily eat seals. Polar Bear populations are declining due to the disappearance of sea ice, and experts estimate that only 20,000-25,000 Polar Bears are left in the wild. Some scientists believe if the warming trend continues two-thirds of the population could disappear by the year 2050.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, in partnership with Polar Bears International (PBI), has provided support to 14 conservation projects in three countries since 1998. In recognition of the Zoo’s conservation and education programs, PBI has designated the Columbus Zoo an Arctic Ambassador Center.

For more information on the work PBI does, and 'International Polar Bear Day', please see their website: www.polarbearsinternational.org 

Continue reading "A Trio of Polar Bears for 'International Polar Bear Day'" »


Tierpark Berlin Determines Sex of New Polar Bear

1_csm_ErsteUntersuchung_Eisbaerjungtier_TierparkBerlin2017__4__a68b05a249

Tierpark Berlin’s Polar Bear, Tonja, gave birth to a cub on November 3, 2016. Zoo officials announced that keepers were recently allowed to carry out their first physical exam of the cub.

Dr. Andreas Knieriem (veterinarian and Park Director), Detlef Balkow (keeper), and Dr. Günter Strauß (veterinarian) entered the nesting box to carry out the examination. The young bear was weighed, chipped and dewormed. The team was also able to finally determine the new Polar Bear is a male!

2_csm_ErsteUntersuchung_Eisbaerjungtier_TierparkBerlin2017__2__065cf0d3b9 (1)

3_csm_ErsteUntersuchung_Eisbaerjungtier_TierparkBerlin2017__5__5dbcc79cd1

4_csm_ErsteUntersuchung_Eisbaerjungtier_TierparkBerlin2017__6__17c68577aaPhoto Credits: Tierpark Berlin

For about seven weeks, keepers worked to prepare Tonja for the exam day. Andrea Fleischer, zoo veterinarian, slowly approached the stable of the young Polar Bear family and conducted daily visits.

In order to ensure that the small offspring could be safely examined, mom Tonja was also temporarily locked into the neighboring box. There she was kept busy with snacks of grapes, carrots and meat.

According to the examination team, the Polar Bear baby has developed quite fantastically. Thanks to the extremely nutritious mother's milk, with a fat content of 30%, the baby has grown rapidly in recent weeks. Keepers report, at the moment, he nurses for about three hours.

The little male was measured by the team and is currently 67 cm from the nose to the tail tip, and the bear now weighs-in at 4.6 kg.

"It was a great pleasure for me to be able to be part of the first vet check of our young Polar Bear. The little one struggled and was very curious, "notes Dr. Knieriem. "So, keeping a small Polar Bear on the arm is always a special experience."

Continue reading "Tierpark Berlin Determines Sex of New Polar Bear" »


Second Polar Bear Birth of the Year for Germany

1_Eisbären-Junges mit Giovanna_24.11._TierparkHellabrunn2016

Three years after the birth of twin Polar Bears at Hellabrunn Zoo Munich, they are celebrating another arrival. On November 21, Giovanna gave birth to a healthy cub.

The newborn cub is in good health and mum Giovanna has been caring lovingly for her little one. The father of the latest offspring is 17-year-old Yoghi.

The birth at Hellabrunn represents only the second Polar Bear birth in Germany this year, after the birth of a cub at Tierpark Berlin.

2_Eisbären-Junges mit Giovanna_30.11._TierparkHellabrunn2016

3_Eisbären-Junges mit Giovanna_23.11._TierparkHellabrunn2016

4_Eisbären-Junges mit Giovanna_25.11._TierparkHellabrunn2016Photo Credits: Tierpark Hellabrunn

In their natural habitat, expectant females dig a den in a snowdrift, which provides shelter for giving birth and provides protection for the vulnerable newborn. At Hellabrunn Zoo, ten-year-old Giovanna has a birthing den, where she has retreated since the beginning of the autumn.

Following this voluntary seclusion by Giovanna, zookeepers were curious to find out if another cub would be born in the Polar World exhibit this year. Zoo curator Beatrix Köhler monitored Giovanna's behaviour via a video stream from the birthing den, "On the afternoon of 21 November, it became apparent that Giovanna was in labour. Unlike the birth of the twins Nela and Nobby, which could be clearly watched via video link, Giovanna gave birth to her third cub in a sitting position, so that the actual birth could not be seen."

The new cub is getting bigger and more active with each passing day. Giovanna keeps her little baby warm by holding it either at her neck or between her paws. "One can clearly see that Giovanna is an experienced mum. She handles her offspring with loving care and regularly checks to make sure everything is okay," explains Beatrix Köhler.

According to keepers, the cub currently weighs about 600 grams and is approximately 20 cm tall. However, the sex of the newborn cannot yet be determined.

Without siblings to compete with, the new arrival is expected to grow quickly in size and weight, thanks to mother's milk. The cub’s eyes will open for the first time after about four and a half weeks.

Christine Strobl, Mayor and Chairman of the Supervisory Board at Hellabrunn Zoo, is extremely delighted, "The birth of another Polar Bear cub is a wonderful success for the zoo and represents a significant development in the conservation of this endangered species."

It may take some time before visitors will be able to see the newborn Polar Bear cub in the outdoor enclosure. The cub is expected to emerge, for the first time, towards the end of winter when it is strong enough to step outside. As with Giovanna and Yoghi’s twins, Nela and Nobby, dad will not play a part in raising the new cub. Female Polar Bears do not allow the male near their young, as the fathers may see their own offspring as potential prey and attempt to harm them.

A video link of the birthing den is available for visitors in the zoo’s Species Conservation Center, where visitors can have a view into the den via Live Stream.

Continue reading "Second Polar Bear Birth of the Year for Germany " »


Things Are Going Swimmingly for Polar Bear Cub

1_12957461_1018519554850164_3776300842874013772_o

Lili the Polar Bear cub was born December 11, 2015 at Zoo am Meer Bremerhaven, Germany. Mom, Valeska (age 11), father, Lloyd (age 15), and the whole Zoo have been very happy about this second healthy little bear in two years.

(Lili´s sister Lale was born on December 16, 2013 and lives now in the Wildlife Adventure Zoo in Emmen, Netherlands.)

2_12923266_1018519458183507_1768471127195975358_n

3_12973214_1018519528183500_6650829423545056985_o

4_12901248_1018519488183504_79784850217026468_oPhoto Credits: Zoo am Meer Bremerhaven

 

 

The new cub and her mother have been on-exhibit for a little more than a month. In the mornings, Lili plays extensively with Mom, and the two recently began swim lessons.

Recently, Lili impressed Keepers with her sudden preference for water sports. Mama took a dive into the water, and Lili went automatically afterwards.

Lessons continued for several weeks, and in the late afternoon of May 10, Keepers excitedly reported: “Lili swims!”

Now the young bear joyfully falls into the water…and doesn’t want to get out! Another step in the development of the small female Polar Bear is done.

Polar Bears are native to the circumpolar north, including the United States (Alaska), Canada, Russia, Norway and Denmark (Greenland). They are at the top of the Arctic food chain and primarily eat seals.

Populations are declining due to the disappearance of sea ice, and experts estimate that only 20,000-25,000 Polar Bears are left in the wild. Some scientists believe if the warming trend continues, two-thirds of the Polar Bear population could disappear by the year 2050. They are currently classified as "Vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List.

5_13131273_1038006326234820_5933082141333099715_o

6_13161718_1038006249568161_1114447794979797107_o

 


Help Name Zoo Brno’s Polar Bear Cub

1_ZooBrnoPolarBearGirl_o

It’s a girl! …The Polar Bear cub, born to mom Cora at Zoo Brno, had her first veterinarian exam, and staff confirmed the sex. The feisty female was born at the end of November 2015.

The cub is now almost five months old, and the Zoo is ready to give her a name. Fans can offer suggestions, until April 10, via the Zoo’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/zoo.brno/

The winning name will be announced, and the cub “Baptized”, on April 16!

2_ZooBrnoPolarBearGirl_o

3_ZooBrnoPolarBearGirl_o

4_ZooBrnoPolarBearGirl_oPhoto Credits: Zoo Brno

 

Zoo Brno keepers had a watchful eye on the new family, after the cub’s birth, via a nesting box cam. Staff had also been working on getting Cora accustomed to necessary health checks, which would enable a successful inspection of the cub.

(ZooBorns shared news, photos, and video of the cub’s birth in early March: "Zoo Brno’s Polar Bear Cub Sticks Close to Mom".)

Continue reading "Help Name Zoo Brno’s Polar Bear Cub" »


A Polar Bear Cub's Favorite Things

12803096_10153473306087106_5047792844480017729_nWhat do a traffic cone, a swimming pool, and a boomer ball have in common?  They’re favorite toys of Nora, a playful Polar Bear cub at the Columbus Zoo.

12783632_10153473306142106_7033131497859581064_o
12440790_10153473306112106_2514116594086828100_o
12792275_10153473306197106_2442624859636011837_oPhoto Credit:  Columbus Zoo

As reported by ZooBorns, Nora was ignored by her mother just days after her November 6 birth.  Raising a Polar Bear cub is no small task, but the zoo staff decided to hand-rear the tiny cub.  Weighing just 1.5 pounds when keepers took her in, Nora now weighs 29 pounds and has started eating meat in addition to her soft food diet. 

Nora’s care team reports that she loves to play with the above mentioned toys and has a very independent nature.   They are pleased with how she is developing so far.

Wild Polar Bears are under threat due to melting sea ice in their Arctic habitat and other threats.  Because Polar Bears use ice floes as platforms for hunting Seals, the disappearing ice forces Polar Bears to swim longer distances in search of food.  As the sea ice melts earlier in the spring, Polar Bears are forced to the mainland before they have built up sufficient food reserves to survive the fall, when food is scarce.   

About 20,000-30,000 Polar Bears remain in the Arctic.  They are listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


Zoo Brno’s Polar Bear Cub Sticks Close to Mom

1_ZooBrnoPolarBearCubAndMomCora

Visitors to Zoo Brno will soon be able to catch a glimpse of their new Polar Bear cub.

The cub was born to mom Cora at the end of November 2015. Until now, the two have been safely tucked away in their nesting box. However, at three-months-old, the new cub is ready to start exploring the exhibit.

Keepers have had a watchful eye on the new family via a nesting box cam. Staff have also been working on getting the pair accustomed to necessary health checks. "First contact went well. Cora was a little nervous, but this is important to gradually get them used to human presence and allow veterinary inspection of the baby, "says keeper, Jaroslav Jasinek.

2_ZooBrnoPolarBearCubAndMomCora

3_ZooBrnoPolarBearCubAndMomCoraPhoto Credits: Eduard Stuchlik

 

 

Keepers currently do no know the sex of the new cub, but once they do, they will allow the public to assist in finding a name—thereby making the public, as a whole, the cub’s honorary ‘godparents’.

Polar Bears are native to the circumpolar north, including the United States (Alaska), Canada, Russia, Norway and Denmark (Greenland). They are at the top of the Arctic food chain and primarily eat seals.

Populations are declining due to the disappearance of sea ice, and experts estimate that only 20,000-25,000 Polar Bears are left in the wild. Some scientists believe if the warming trend continues, two-thirds of the Polar Bear population could disappear by the year 2050. They are currently classified as "Vulnerable" on the IUCN Red List.