Baby polar bear’s got bite
For the past 50 days since giving birth, polar bear mum Giovanna has been snuggling with her cub inside Hellabrunn’s mothering den. During this time, the baby polar bear has not only grown in size and weight, but also made its first attempts to crawl. The little cub has also begun to pester mum more and more.
Although not yet able to walk, one can increasingly observe the baby polar bear positioning itself on all fours and attempt to crawl back and forth between mum’s big paws and her teats. It will probably take another two to three weeks before the little cub’s wobbly crawl becomes steady enough to allow it to move safely around the mothering den. But as everyone knows practice makes perfect. And so visitors will be able to see the recently born cub increasing the number of attempts at climbing and manoeuvring with each passing day.
"It’s a joy to watch the daily progress,” says curator Beatrix Köhler. “And for Giovanna, the real work as a polar bear mum will soon begin. She will then have to keep a close eye on the little one. But she will be able to master that. After all, she has already gained plenty of experience with Nela and Nobby.”
The cub currently weighs between three and four kilos. And the skin under its white coat, which was pink at birth, is now becoming increasingly darker. "At some stage the cub’s tongue will also become black, like that of an adult polar bear," explains Beatrix Köhler. “In addition, the canines are now developing. On one of the videos you can clearly see that the polar bear is already testing its bite."
The first veterinary examination will most likely take place at the end of January. Among other things, this will clearly determine the sex of the cub. After this, mum Giovanna and her cub will remain inside the mothering den at the Polar World for a few more weeks, protected from any contact with the outside world. "In all likelihood, Giovanna and her cub will emerge from the mothering den, and be on view for visitors, for the first time on Friday, 24 February," says zoo director Rasem Baban.
Until then, visitors can follow the day-to-day activities of mum Giovanna and her cub in the mothering den via livestream displayed on a large screen in the Species Conservation Center at Hellabrunn Zoo.
Please note: On 18 January, the Species Conservation Center will be closed for an event.