How fast can a veterinary team perform a physical exam on a baby Polar Bear? At Germany’s Zoo am Meer, it took only four minutes for the staff to examine, vaccinate, determine gender, and weigh a cub and return the baby to her anxious mother.
Photo Credit: Zoo Am Meer
The female cub was born on December 16 to first-time mom Valeska, age 9, and father Lloyd, age 13. Since then, the cub has remained in the den with Valeska, who has proven to be an excellent mother to her cub.
Zoo staff members describe the cub as playful and energetic. At her exam, the cub weighed 18 pounds (8.5 kg), and has a lot of growing to do – adult female Polar Bears weigh 400-700 pounds (180-370 kg). She’ll remain behind the scenes with Valeska until late in April or May. At that time, she’ll learn how to swim and explore the outdoors.
Polar Bear populations are imperiled by climate change. Polar Bears require sea ice as a place to stand while searching for passing seals to hunt. Many Polar Bears are malnourished because their hunting season – which occurs in winter when the sea is filled with ice – becomes shorter every year, preventing them from building fat reserves to survive through the summer, when hunting is not possible.
See more photos of the cub below.