Surpassing his two month milestone on January 9th, 2014, our polar bear cub has reached some exciting new stages in his development, growing much larger with a big personality to match. Weighing in at 4.4 kg at day 70, he is now feeding 5 times a day and even from a dish on his own as well. Teething, taking his first steps, and now having eyes open with more awareness of his surroundings have all been exciting milestones for Zoo staff to experience. Over the last month, there has also been an air conditioner installed in his room to keep a cool temperature and he has been introduced to snow both indoors and outdoors. He is a polar bear after all!
Working with him closely on a daily basis, Zoo staff have indicated he is a very playful cub and responds positively to staff when feeding and playing with him. He works hard to climb, has started play biting and wrestling and gets very sleepy after play time - just as babies do. Zoo staff continue to learn more about him on a daily basis and see developments in both his size and behaviours on a weekly basis.
Looking forward to what month three brings!
On Saturday, November 9, 2013 the staff was delighted to find that Aurora, one of the Toronto Zoo's two female polar bears, gave birth to three male cubs. Despite Aurora showing perfect maternal instincts, including nursing the cubs shortly after their birth, our staff were saddened to discover that two of the three cubs did not survive the first 48 hours.
After monitoring Aurora and the remaining cub 24 hours a day, on Monday, November 11, 2013 staff observed the lone cub no longer moving as strongly as before and a decision had to be made. The best chance of survival meant transferring the cub, which weighed less than 700 grams, to the Zoo's intensive care unit in the Wildlife Health Centre (WHC).
Once the cub was moved to the WHC, our team consisting of veterinary staff and animal care experts began the continuous process of monitoring his temperature, taking blood samples, weighing him and feeding him a special formula to help build up his strength.
In his first month, Zoo staff were excited to see that our cub surpassed many milestones as he continued to grow stronger each day. He began showing his contentment by purring, started crawling, rolling over, and even standing on all four paws as he became stronger. With seven feedings per day, each followed by an exercise session, our cub showed positive signs of growth and development.