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Bremerhaven zoo greets baby polar bear

The Local · 21 Dec 2015, 14:58

Published: 21 Dec 2015 14:58 GMT+01:00

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Just two years after the zoo welcomed its last cub, Lale, mother bear Valeska had a fresh 1.5-kilo bundle of joy to take care of on 11 December.

"It has got through the first critical days," zoo director Heike Kück told Radio Bremen on Monday.

Now it would be long months of the young baby nursing and being cared for by its mother.

Its weight has already doubled since the birth, the zoo said.

The birth was recorded on video using hidden cameras that have also captured the mother and baby's first days together in their cave.

A photo of the baby bear with mother Valeska just after the birth. Photo: Zoo am Meer Bremerhaven

It's an unusually quick new baby for Valeska, who had only said goodbye to Lale in June, when she was transferred to Emmen zoo.

But she and partner Lloyd quickly began doing the necessary as soon as they were put back in an enclosure together later the same month.

The mother bear had to increase her weight from 180 to 300 kilos to ensure a safe pregnancy - otherwise the fertilized egg would never implant in her uterus.

Safely in the cave till February

It's likely that Valeska won't leave her new cub alone in the cave until February, giving the zoo attendants and vets a chance to see it first hand and work out if it's a boy or girl.

Story continues below…

And it's around that time that zoo visitors will be able to glimpse the cub, too.

From March, it will have access to a hidden pool all of its own where it will learn to swim.

And just like its older sister Lale, the new baby will be named by a contest open to the public.

The new baby is the 36th polar bear to be born in the Bremerhaven zoo.

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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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