The birth of two polar bear cubs at the Toronto Zoo earlier this month wasn’t given much fanfare.
And now we know why: one of the cubs did not survive and the other surviving female cub has been moved to the zoo’s intensive care unit in the Wildlife Health Centre.
Eric Cole, manager of wildlife care at the zoo said the first cub did not survive its first 24 hours and zoo staff felt it had to intervene to move the other cub away from its mother Aurora.
“Aurora demonstrated good maternal instincts and her cubs did attempt to nurse, but it appears she was not producing any milk to feed her newborns.
Veterinarians and staff from the Zoo’s WHC anesthetized Aurora which enabled them to examine her and retrieve the surviving cub.
At this time, the cub was moved to the ICU in the WHC to give her the best chance of survival.
This is an extremely critical time for this tiny cub and Zoo staff are monitoring her health 24/7 and providing supportive medical care as necessary including intravenous fluids. This will also involve feeding a special milk formula which has been perfected over time by the Toronto Zoo’s staff given their past experiences hand raising polar bear cubs. Our polar bear cub will remain in the WHC which is not visible to the public. We will continue to keep you updated on her progress.
The zoo said polar bears typically give birth at the end of November or in December.