During her first official veterinary exam, the Polar Bear cub at Tierpark Berlin demonstrated to staff that even a small bear has a lot of power!
New mother, Tonja, and her cub have spent their first eleven weeks tucked in cozy togetherness in the litter cave. The first vet exam not only determined the cub’s health, but the sex as well.
“The little Polar Bear is a cheery, strong girl. We were also able to convince ourselves personally of the development of the cub and are extremely satisfied,” shared Veterinarian/Zoo Director, Dr. Andreas Knieriem.
Dr. Knieriem led the examination of the new cub, with the assistance of Dr. Günter Strauß and district manager Andrea Fleischer. After mom, Tonja, was lured with a warm soup of meat and carrots into the neighboring box, the vets were able to approach the youngster for the first time.
The female cub was also weighed, vaccinated, and treated for worms. With the three professional staff working together, the exam was over after about 15 minutes.
“The little Polar Bear, with a size of 61 cm from head to butt, proudly weighs 8.5 kg,” explained Veterinarian, Dr. Günter Strauss.
Thanks to the extremely nutritious breast milk, with a fat content of about 30%, the cub’s size has increased rapidly in recent weeks. She currently nurses almost two hours a day, but the little bear has not dared to eat solid food.
According to Polar Bear Curator, Dr. Florian Sicks, zoo visitors will have to wait a bit to catch a glimpse of the new cub.
“Only when the little Polar Bear can safely follow mother, Tonja, will the two leave the nesting hole,” Dr. Sicks explained. “This is expected to last until March.”
The cub was born December 1, 2018 to parents, Tonja (age 9) and Volodya (age 7). As in the wild, the father is not involved in the rearing of the cub.
The girl cub does not have a name yet, but Tierpark Berlin staff will announce plans for naming in the near future.