Polar Bear

A Sneak Peek at Toledo Zoo's Twin Polar Bear Cubs

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Twin Polar Bear cubs were born at the Toledo Zoo on November 21, but they’ve been behind the scenes with their mother Crystal until last week, when they stepped outdoors for a sneak peek. The cubs, who have not yet been named, are not expected to go into their exhibit until sometime in May.

The zoo staff monitors the twins by remote camera to reduce the stress on Crystal, age 13, and allow her to devote her energies to caring for her babies.  The twins’ father is Marty, the zoo’s resident male Polar Bear.

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Photo Credit:  Dr. Randi Meyerson


“This is the fourth litter of Polar Bears the Zoo has had since 2006,” Dr. Randi Meyerson, curator of mammals, said. “I credit our success to high-quality animal care, the staff’s relationship with the animals, the bears’ good temperaments and an outstanding facility. When the Arctic Encounter® opened in 2000, it was a state-of-the-art facility, and it still is.” 

The Zoo’s cubs have an important future as ambassadors for a species, protected under the Endangered Species Act, which faces grave threats in their native habitat. “Human activities have a direct effect on Polar Bears,” Dr. Meyerson said, “and their plight should encourage all of us to decrease our carbon footprint.”

Polar Bears in United States zoos are managed by the Species Survival Plan (SSP), established by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Through this cooperative breeding and conservation program, zoos nationwide work together to maintain healthy, genetically diverse populations.

Jeff Sailer, the Zoo’s executive director, said, “As the number of Polar Bears in the wild decreases, it’s more important than ever that cubs in zoo settings serve as ambassadors for their counterparts in the wild. We hope these cubs inspire our visitors to join us in caring for Polar Bears and their environment.”


Introducing a Fuzzy White Snowball Baby at Buffalo Zoo!

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New York's Buffalo Zoo has a lot to celebrate these days. Not only did their new Polar Bear cub meet the public for the first time Friday, the zoo has entered a new phase of fundraising for an exhibit that will help keep Polar Bears in Buffalo. The Western New York zoo is one of only two zoos in North America to have Polar Bear births this year. The cub was born on November 27th to mother Anana, sired by Nanuq, and has been hand raised by the zoo’s veterinary technician and keeper staff.

The Buffalo Zoo has spent the past two years raising over $14 million of the $18 million needed to build a new entrance and Polar Bear exhibit. They are now asking residents of Western New York and the surrounding community to help raise the remaining $4 million required to build the exhibit and keep Polar Bears in Buffalo.

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Photo credits: Kelly Brown / Buffalo Zoo 

Though the cub is currently too small to go on exhibit for the public, she will be visible on a closed-circuit television in the Zoo’s M&T Bank Rainforest Falls Monday through Friday from 12 p.m. until 3.p.m. The Zoo will also post regular updates to their website and Facebook page.

 Many more pics below the fold!

Continue reading "Introducing a Fuzzy White Snowball Baby at Buffalo Zoo!" »


Piké The Polar Bear Celebrates Her 30th Birthday at SF Zoo!

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Last month, Santa sent 10 tons of fresh snow to help San Francisco Zoo celebrate the birthdays of San Francisco’s two special Polar Bears, Piké (30) and Ulu (32), two of the oldest Bears in accredited AZA zoos in the United States. Since the life span of a Polar Bear in the wild is approximately 15 years, the incredible longevity of these Polar Bears is a testament to the SF Zoo’s commitment to animal wellness and to the specialists at the SF Zoo who care for them. The incredible vintage video below (and these highlight screen grab images) shows Piké's adventures as a cub in her early days being hand-reared under the zoo's care.

Photo and video credit: San Francisco Zoo (photos) Paul Hedberg (video)

 

Remember that a portion of every sale of ZooBorns' new harcover book ZooBorns: The Next Generation, featuring Siku the baby Polar Bear, goes directly to wildlife conservation. Put a copy in someone's stocking today! Amazon: http://amzn.to/NBUmhm


Polar Bear Cubs Debut and Delight Dutch Zoo Visitors

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February 29th marked the official debut of The Netherlands' Ouwehands Zoo's Polar Bear cubs. Under the careful supervision of their mother 'Huggies', the cubs explored their outdoor exhibit for the first time. Born December 1st of 2011, the twins play a crucial role in educating their visiting public about the plight of this highly endangered species. Climate change is melting the sea ice on which this majestic creature depends for its survival in the wild, pushing Polar Bears to the brink of extinction.

Ouwehands' Polar Bear group consists of seven individuals; Victor, the twins' father, Freedom and her two cubs Siku and Sesi, Huggies and her two yet unnamed cubs.

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Photo credits: Rob Doolaard, Robert Pleizier

The following video is in Dutch, but shows the cubs in action...


Siku The Star Polar Bear Cub Meets The Snow!

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Siku's back, and this time he's making snow angels, and maybe eating a little bit of snow while he's at it! The 73 day old, 10.5 kilogram sensation from the Scandinavian Wildlife Park of Djursland had some time outdoors and posed for another outstanding photo session. We just had to share it! Siku means “Sea ice” in Greenlandic language.

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Toronto's Polar Bear Cub Debuts at 3.5 Months!

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After a precarious start to life, a now 3 ½ month old male Polar Bear cub was introduced today at Toronto Zoo. This energetic young cub represents a heartwarming journey of survival, one where expert Toronto Zoo Wildlife Health staff worked around the clock to save a vulnerable species. The cub has successfully reached many milestones in his young life and is a great ambassador for a species in need of public education and support.

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Photo credit: Toronto Zoo

"This has been an interesting and challenging case for the Zoo and a valiant and dedicated team effort of both the Wildlife Health Centre and Wildlife Care staff," said John Tracogna, the Zoo's Chief Executive Officer. "Ultimately, it has been a rewarding journey for everyone involved, and we are happy to introduce an active and healthy Polar Bear cub, our new Arctic ambassador to help share our conservation message with our visitors."

Learn about the cub's rocky start and about the zoo's naming contest beneath the fold...

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All Eyes On Siku, The Baby Polar Bear Sensation!

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The Scandinavian Wildlife Park of Djursland's (southeast of Kolind, Denmark) female Polar Bear, Ilka, gave birth to a single male cub on November 22. After two days the park decided to immobilize Ilka, because the cub was constantly screaming and very unsettled. Ilka could not produce milk, so instead of leaving the cub to die, keepers decided to try to bottle feed him. Siku is now 32 days old, and weighs 3,200 grams.

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Photo and video credit: Scandinavian Wildlife Park of Djursland

The cub's name is SIKU, which means “Sea ice” in Greenlandic language. The name is symbolic, because Polar Bears are 100% dependant on sea ice for their survival. Polar bears catch all their prey from the sea ice, so no sea ice - no Polar Bears. With sea ice in the Arctic Sea rapidly diminishing, the latest forecasts predict that the Polar Bear may be almost extinct in the wild 40 years from now.

Continue reading "All Eyes On Siku, The Baby Polar Bear Sensation!" »


When Mom Can't Feed Her Cub, Zoo Keepers Step In

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The Scandinavian Wildlife Park of Djursland has been raising Siku, a one month old Polar Bear cub, by hand since his mother was unable to provide enough milk for him. Since birth, the cub has more than doubled in weight, and Zoo officials say little Siku is doing fine. Park Manager Frank Vigh-Larsen says the tiny cub was just two days old by the time it became clear he would not survive without intervention. Three keepers give Siku around the clock care to ensure he continues to grow and develop healthily.

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Photo and video credit: Scandinavian Wildlife Park of Djursland