(CBS DETROIT) – The Detroit Zoo can bear-ly contain its excitement after welcoming two polar bear cubs who are the first to be born and successfully raised at the zoo since 2004, officials say.
The two were born on November 17, 2020, to 8-year-old mother Suka, and 16-year-old father, Nuka and have not been named yet.
The cubs were born in a specially-designed, private maternity den away from the other bears. It is equipped with infrared video cameras that allow staff to monitor the mother and cubs without disturbing them.
On November 19, it was observed that one of the cubs was becoming inactive and appeared to be weak. The staff allowed Suka out of the den so that the weak cub could be retrieved.
The cub, a female, was taken to the Detroit Zoo’s Ruth Roby Glancy Animal Health Complex where she was examined by veterinarians and given fluids and formula. She has continued to receive around-the-clock care and bottle feeding.
At two days old, she weighed 1.2 pounds and now she is 11.3 pounds, according to officials who say she has graduated from an incubator to a “playpen”. She will eventually go back to live in the Arctic Ring of Life habitat. It is not yet known if she can be reunited with her mother and sibling, but eventually she will live with other bears.
The zoo continues to monitor Suka and the cub she is caring for. She has been a very attentive mom; continuously nursing, grooming and cuddling her cub, with only short water and bathroom breaks.
Both cubs are currently in private, behind-the-scenes areas and are not viewable by guests. However, 16-year-old Nuka, the cubs’ father, and 20-year-old Anana are viewable in the Arctic Ring of Life’s tundra and pack ice habitats.
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Enjoy a few precious moments with Suka and her cub from the specially-designed, private maternity den at the Detroit Zoo.
— Detroit Zoo (@detroitzoo) January 29, 2021