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Friday, January 10, 2014

Toronto Zoo's polar bear cub takes his first steps

CLICK HERE to watch the polar bear cub take his first steps!
The Toronto Zoo is pleased to report the male polar bear cub, born on Saturday, November 9, 2013, is continuing to make great progress and reach new milestones including:
·         He is now able to stand on all four legs and is starting to take steps forward (see video capturing his first steps).
·   The cub weighs approximately 4.4 kg which is a 529% increase since his original birth weight of 700 grams.
·         He receives a bottle of milk six times a day but has recently been introduced to a small amount of milk formula in a dish and is learning to lap up the liquid (see video of his first sips from a dish).

·         His eyes have been fully open since day 35 and he is starting to focus and notice his surroundings.  
·         He is quite active and is starting to play.
·         He is beginning to teethe and likes to bite objects such as his blanket. His canine teeth, incisors and some of his molars can now be felt.
·         He has a few whiskers and his coat is becoming thicker as he continues to grow.
·         He still remains in a temperature controlled environment within the Wildlife Health Centre but has been out of his incubator for the past month.
·         The temperature in his room has been gradually reduced, in fact an air conditioner has been installed for his comfort. He is a polar bear after all!
The team consisting of dedicated veterinary and wildlife care staff experts continue the process of monitoring his temperature, taking blood samples, weighing him and feeding him a special formula to help build up his strength.
"Our Wildlife Care Team has been working around the clock to look after this special cub. We are very happy with his progress so far. We hope that he will grow up to become another ambassador for his species, highlighting threats to the arctic environment," says Dr. Graham Crawshaw, Senior Veterinarian.       
Toronto Zoo is involved in collaborative research projects involving multiple accredited zoos and organizations to help better understand polar bear reproductive biology, and provide valuable information to support polar bear education, research and conservation efforts in the wild.  
"With our ongoing research to help save polar bears, one of our main missions is to bring awareness of the plight of polar bears in the wild. The Toronto Zoo's Tundra Trek area focuses on climate change and its effects on species conservation within this region", says Maria Franke, Curator of Mammals. "When he is ready, our new cub will join our other polar bears in the Tundra Trek and help spread the word on what you can do to make a difference and help save these magnificent creatures," she added. 
CLICK HERE to check out our web page with new pictures and videos of the polar bear cub.

Toronto Zoo is accredited by CAZA (Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums). Look for this logo whenever you visit a Canadian zoo as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things.

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