On November 11, 2015 the staff was delighted to find that Aurora, one of the Toronto Zoo’s two female polar bears, gave birth to two polar bear cubs. Despite Aurora showing perfect maternal instincts, including attempting to nurse the 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 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 the cub was moved to the WHC, 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.
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.