CUB CLINGS TO LIFE
Only one of two polar bears born recently at Toronto Zoo survived first day and is now in intensive care,
Only one of two polar bear cubs born at the Toronto Zoo last week survived its first 24 hours and is now in intensive care, the zoo announced Friday.
Aurora, one of the zoo’s two female polar bears, gave birth to two cubs on the evening of Nov. 11, the zoo said. Staff closely monitored the trio via camera but soon noticed one of the cubs wasn’t moving, said zoo spokesperson Jennifer Tracey.
“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,” wildlife care manager Eric Cole explained in a news release.
Veterinarians and staff from the zoo’s Wildlife Health Branch anesthetized Aurora to examine her. The surviving cub, which hasn’t been named, was taken to the zoo’s wildlife health centre intensive care unit, where it was placed in an incubator and has been receiving around-theclock care ever since.
The care includes feeding the cub a special milk formula the zoo has developed over years of raising polar bear cubs by hand.
Tracey said it typically takes three months for polar bears cubs to stabilize, and although the cub is at a critical stage, staff members are optimistic for its survival.
Aurora is no stranger to motherhood. In 2013, she gave birth to three cubs, only one of which survived.
She also gave birth to three cubs in 2011 but then lashed out against them, devouring one and reportedly skinning another. The third cub survived.
Both surviving cubs have since been moved to Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park Zoo.