It takes a full mix of Toronto Zoo staff to raise a baby polar bear. Under the overall direction of our three Veterinarians and our lead Veterinarian, Dr. Graham Crawshaw, our Zoo team or 'Zoo parents' consist of dedicated veterinarians, veterinarian technicians and keepers from both the Americas region and our Wildlife Health Centre. Approximately 20 Zoo staff in total!
Responsible for the care of this cub 24/7, together, our staff ensure this baby polar bear is aptly monitored and cared for with daily feedings (starting at nine times a day!) as well as ongoing daily monitoring of food intake, fecal and urine output, body temperature and body weight.
Exercise is also important for this little guy, and our Veterinarian technicians and Keepers make a point of providing exercise time for this little cub every day, after each feeding. It's a great opportunity for him to stretch and strengthen his muscles and to also explore and respond to physical contact from the Zoo staff.
In order to ensure this little cub is cared for around the clock, our Zoo parents involved in his care have taken to day and night scheduling seven days a week and will continue to work 'early' and 'late' shifts, until he is old enough to establish a regular schedule of eating by day and sleeping by night. Caring for a newborn bear is no easy feat!
While our veterinarians and veterinarian technicians were most integral during the first days and weeks when the baby cub was most fragile, our Zoo keeper staff were introduced to the baby polar bear as early as possible, as they will become the primary care givers once he gets older and moves outdoors.