Meet Juno, our female polar bear cub born on November 11, 2015 to mom, Aurora and dad, Inukshuk. Aurora gave birth to two polar bear cubs, but despite showing perfect maternal instincts, including attempting to nurse her cubs shortly after birth, our staff were saddened to discover that one of the cubs did not survive the first 24 hours. At this time, the remaining female cub, Juno, was moved to the Zoo's intensive care unit (ICU) in the Wildlife Health Centre (WHC) to give her the best chance of survival. Once there, our team consisting of veterinary staff and animal care experts began the continuous process of monitoring her temperature, taking blood samples, weighing her and feeding her a special formula which has been perfected over time by the Toronto Zoo’s staff given their past experiences hand raising polar bear cubs.
Juno lived in the WHC until she was approximately three-months old, when she was moved to the indoor maternity den within the polar bear house to transition to being on her own, and began exploring the outdoors. She now lives in the outdoor polar maternity habitat within the Tundra Trek where she has plenty of space to run, play, climb and swim, where visitors can now join in watching her grow.
Born on Remembrance Day, she was named in honour of Juno Beach, the code name given to Canadian soldier's designated landing area on D-Day. As such, Juno was adopted by the Canadian Army and is the first polar bear to "bear" an official rank.
During her public debut on February 27, 2016, Brigadier-General David Patterson of the Canadian Army had the honour of unveiling her name and announced her promotion to the rank of "Private." As a member of the Canadian Army, she may also have the opportunity to work her way up the ranks as she gets older, perhaps one day she might even aspire to the rank of honourary "General"!
6 month update
Born on Remembrance Day 2015, Juno was named in honour of Juno Beach and was adopted by the Canadian Army as the first polar bear to "bear" an official rank.
She continues to grow into a very independent cub who loves to explore her exhibit and wrestle with any toys wrapped in blankets. She now weighs 30.6kg, and eats three meals a day either in a bowl or in enrichment items to keep her stimulated and engaged. These meals include formula, meat, smelt and fish oil. The Keepers continue to incorporate her into the behavioural husbandry program with daily training sessions, and she now also has the option to swim in her little pool in the polar bear maternity habitat.
Visit her daily from 9:30am to 7:00pm and wish her a happy six month bear-thday!"
5 month update
Our little Juno isn't so little anymore. She continues to grow and learn new things daily and has now been introduced to swimming! Be sure to visit her daily and watch for her splashing around in her pool.
4 month update
Juno now weighs over 14 kgs and has become quite the little bear! Her polar bear-like tendencies continue to develop as she grows and keepers have already started her polar bear training sessions, much like those done with our adult bears. She now feeds 3 times a day, and continues to receive formula but is eating an increasing amount of solids, which include both meat and kibble.
You can visit her daily in the Tundra Trek from 10:00am to 12:00pm, and again from 1:00pm to 3:00pm.
3 month update
Our female polar bear cub turned three months old yesterday!
She now weighs 7.5 kg and is feeding five times a day, still receiving formula with meat slowly being added to her diet. As she continues to develop, staff have been introducing her to various enrichment items. This week, she was introduced to snow for the first time and she will continue to spend time outdoors daily to slowly become familiarized with the area which will become her new home.
She remains in the maternity den of the polar bear exhibit and still not viewable to the public at this time, however we will let fans know when she will be making her public debut!
8 week update
Our baby polar bear is almost two months old! She weighs 2.8 kilograms and now feeds six times a day. She continues to explore and become more mobile, and is bright and alert. Her fuzzy white coat is also becoming thicker as she continues to develop. Note that she is still within our Wildlife Health Centre and not viewable to the public at this time.
6 week update
Our polar bear cub is now six weeks old and weighs 2.1 kg. Her eyes are now fully open, her nose and foot pads are now black and she is teething. Her ears are also fully open and she is able to hear. She now eats seven times a day, can lift her belly off the ground, and is learning to place her feet correctly for walking. She still enjoys exercise or "play" time after each feed.
She is still being monitored 24/7 by our Wildlife Care staff and is not viewable to the public at this time.
One month update
Surpassing her one month milestone on December 11, 2015, our polar bear cub’s nose and foot pads have darkened, and she is becoming much fuzzier. She now feeds 8 times a day, and the temperature in her incubator is slowly being lowered to room temperature. After every feed, she gets about 10-15 minutes of exercise or "play" time, and although she can't yet stand, she sure does a lot of squirming about! Her eyes have not yet opened, but our Wildlife Health Centre team predict that they will be in the next week or so.
While she continues to do well, this is still a critical time for this young cub and she will remain under close watch in our Wildlife Health Centre, not viewable to public.