Polar bear twins undergo first medical check-up

The polar bear cubs have passed their first medical examination with flying colours. The vets have now confirmed the twins are in the best of health.

This morning mother bear Giovanna (7) was separated from her twins for the first time asthree vets at Munich's Hellabrunn Zoo, Dr Christine Gohl, Dr Nicole Kowaleski and zoodirector Dr Andreas Knieriem, performed a medical check-up. The baby polar bears wereweighed, checked to determine gender and chipped. Five minutes later, the cute little familywas reunited. A more detailed examination of the cubs was then undertaken by their motherGiovanna, before allowing her newborns to return to the milk bar.


"As I suspected, the twins are a girl and a boy. And quite surprisingly, the girl is considerablystronger, weighing 5.4 kg. The darker of the two is the boy, who weighs 4.6 kg," says zoodirector Dr Andreas Knieriem.


Dr Christine Gohl is equally impressed: "The polar bear babies are healthy. The chips meanthey now also have an "identity card" and can be properly registered in Hellabrunn Zoo'sanimal database."The two baby polar bears will still be protected by their mother Giovanna in their Arctic-stylefamily home for several weeks to come, without contact with the outside world. It is expectedthat the three will first venture outside into the open in the second half of March. Contact withfather Yoghi (14) will be made in the "cuddling enclosure." The decision as to whether therecan be an entire family reunion or whether Yoghi must continue to remain separated from hispartner and their offspring will depend on how Giovanna reacts.