Polar bear twins Aleut and Gregory made their debut at Nuremberg Zoo yesterday, March 23rd, and it wasn't long before they were swimming happily with Mom for the first time. The cubs were born December 2nd and were left for many weeks undisturbed and in the care of experienced Mom Vera in a secluded den. A week ago, keepers noticed mother Vera's increasing interest in the door to the outside enclosure. With the cubs having been given their vaccinations and the outdoor enclosure checked for safety, there was nothing in the way of a grand debut. Aleut and Gregory are siblings of Flocke, the famous Nuremberg Polar Bear.
On Thursday, Rotterdam Zoo visitors had the priviledge of seeing Polar Bear cub Vicks, born December 6th, explore the outside world for the first time. The cub, whose sex is still unknown, had spent the first months of life in a maternity den with mother Olinka. The increasingly precocious cub spent the day frolicking around the exhibit and even had his first swimming lesson.
Some webcam footage of Vicks with Olinka at just 21 days of age...
Just last week, Aalborg Zoo keepers finally succeeded in separating a very muddy cub from mom Malik in the birth den for an overdue veterinary examination. Not surprisingly, mom and cub were not happy about this as evidenced by the cubs feisty resistance in these photos. However, the examination went swiftly taking only 4 minutes, during which time the cub was weighed (already 35lbs / 15kg!), the gender was determined (it's a boy!), and a DNA sample was obtained. The Aalborg Zoo explained "When the cub returned to mom, it didn't take long until it seemed as happy and adventorous as before the weird incident. Afterwards the zookeepers handfed the cub with a special treat: dried figs, and this offer wasn't refused."
Just in from the ZooBorns Breaking News Desk: little Polar Bear cub loves snow! So maybe this is not a revelation, but it's certainly fun to watch. The Aalborg Zoo's little Polar Bear cub is having a grand old time enjoying the Danish snow. At 3 months old, the cub spends a lot of time playing with mom Malik and biting everything it finds interesting, particularly mom's paws.
Many more outstanding photos below the fold.
On November 25th, Ouwehands Zoo in the Netherlands welcomed two little Polar Bear cubs to mama bear "Freedom." Named Siki and Sesi, the cubs have spent the last few months sleeping, eating and rough-housing in the den and have just emerged to enjoy the frosty weather. In Dutch, Polar Bears are called Ijsberen (ice bears), a fitting name for a species that spends the majority of its life on snow and ice. Enjoy the outstanding videos provided by Ouwehands Zoo below. (Above photo credit: Clovis Flos)
Want to freak out your dogs? Play this video of the very young cubs making a screeching racket in the den.
For the first time last week, mama Polar Bear "Malik" coaxed her three month old cub out of their cozy den for a little outdoor adventure at Denmark's Aalborg Zoo. Since Zoo veterinarians have not yet been able to safely examine the cub, the sex is still undetermined. In the wild Polar Bears most often hunt along the edges of sea ice. Unfortunately global warming threatens the bears' habitat and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified the Polar Bear as vulnerable to extinction.
More photos below the fold
Meet Siku, the only Polar Bear cub in an American zoo. "Siku" means “ice” in the Inupiat language, and it was chosen for him by a fourth grader from the North Slope Borough of Alaska. The Toledo Zoo, in conjunction with the World Wildlife Fund, Polar Bears International and the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management, sponsored a naming contest for children in that area in which they suggested names for the cub. The Zoo’s large mammal keepers chose Siku, and it’s a fitting name for an animal whose wild counterparts depend on ice shelves for hunting.
Photo Credits: Jen Lockridge
And here we have one of the cubs trying to get comfortable atop mom's head.
Time to check back in on our favorite growing little polar bear cubs via the cub-cam at Quebec's Zoo Sauvage. Watch them "rough-house" in the comfort of mom's fluffy white fur.