DE
01.02.17

Hellabrunn’s polar bear cub is a girl!

On Wednesday, 1 February, the veterinary staff at Hellabrunn Zoo were finally able to conduct the first health check on the recently born polar bear cub. They determined with certainty that the cub is a girl, weighing an impressive 8.4 kilos.

Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Müller

Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Müller

Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Müller

72 days after giving birth, mum Giovanna was separated from her baby for the first time for a few minutes to allow the vets Dr Christine Gohl and Dr Julian Heubeck to examine the baby polar bear. They were quickly able to determine the sex of the baby, as well as weigh and chip her. The cub now has an "ID card" and is registered in the Hellabrunn Zoo animal database. The baby bear was also given a general health check and vaccinated. "She's in great shape and full of energy, and weighs an impressive 8.4 kilos," says Dr Christine Gohl. By comparison, the polar bear twins Nela and Nobby weighed 5.4 and 4.6 kilos, respectively, on their first health check conducted 74 days after birth. "It is to be expected that as a single child, the girl will weigh more than the twins," adds Dr Christine Gohl.

Zoo director Rasem Baban was also present at the health check, which took place in the morning. "Having followed the development of the little one via the CCTV for weeks, it was truly special to finally be able to witness in person this morning how healthy and strong the polar bear baby is."

The little cub does not yet have a name, however it is certain that the name she is eventually given will begin with the letter Q, as all animals born at the zoo in 2016 are given names beginning with Q. Visitors and sponsors are invited to help select a name - beginning with Q - for the cub via our exclusive Adopt an Animal package. For further information, please visit: http://www.hellabrunn.de/tierpatenschaften/

Upon completion of the health check, mum Giovanna then carefully examined her daughter, after which she allowed her to return to suckling. Since the birth, Giovanna has been taking loving care of her third child every day.

Giovanna and her baby will remain protected inside the mothering den at the Polar World until the end of February, without contact with the outside world. The two are expected to emerge from the den for the first time on 24 February, when they will be on view in the outdoor enclosure for visitors to see. The little girl will make contact with her dad Yoghi (17) at a later date at the cuddling gate.

For the month of February, the zoo's Facebook page will be dedicated to polar bears. Under the hashtag #coolerbär, you can find fascinating information and pictures throughout the month on the polar bears at Hellabrunn Zoo and their endangered fellow species in the wild. In addition, Hellabrunn Zoo will soon be available on Instagram as tierpark_hellabrunn. The theme month ends on 27 February with International Polar Bear Day, which is celebrated at Hellabrunn with a wide range of activities to promote awareness.