Toronto Zoo's Polar Bear cub is growing up strong and healthy! Born on November 9 to a resident mom, Aurora, the cub was one of three born in the litter. Despite Aurora showing perfect maternal instincts, including nursing the cubs shortly after their birth, the zoo was saddened to discover that two of the three cubs did not survive the first 48 hours. They made the decision to hand raise and carefully monitor the third cub so he would have to best chance of survival. (See our previous update here.)
Since then, the male cub has recovered from low weight and made many developmental milestones. His eyes have been fully open since day 35 and he's already taken his first steps. He is quite active and starting to play.
The cub now weighs about 9.7 pounds (4 kg), which is a is a 529% increase since his original birth weight. Although he receives milk from a bottle six times a day, he has recently started to learn how to lap milk from a dish, a transition that eventually will help him learn to eat solid foods.
Watch the cub's first steps:
Watch a bottle-feeding:
Happy bear sounds!
The little cub is beginning to teethe and he likes to bite objects such as his blanket. His canine teeth, incisors and some of his molars can now be felt. He has a few whiskers and his coat is becoming thicker as he continues to grow.
He still remains in a temperature-controlled environment within the Wildlife Health Centre but has been out of his incubator for the past month. The temperature in his room has been gradually reduced. In fact, an air conditioner has been installed for his comfort. He is a Polar Bear, after all!
See and read more after the fold.