Video Credit: CEN
This is the moment a mother polar bear lovingly tends to its one-month-old cub in the world’s oldest zoo.
The heartwarming scenes were filmed at the Schonbrunn Zoo in the Austrian capital Vienna after the polar cub was born at the zoo for the first time in eight years.
In the video, mother bear Nora can be seen hugging the tiny cub as the sleepy pair cuddle up together.
The tiny cub, which was born on 9th November but whose sex is not yet known, lies in its mother arms and can be seen feeding on her teats.
Zoo Director Dagmar Schratter is very satisfied with the cub’s development to date, saying: “The little cub is drinking well and you can see on the videos a well-rounded milk-filled belly.”
She noted that if the cub does not find the teat on the first try, it loudly protests with a squeak until Mother Nora helps, saying: “Thanks to the high-fat milk of the females, polar bear cubs grow relatively quickly. The young animal in Schonbrunn is now facing great developmental stages.”
Schratter added: “The cub already has its eyes open, but it sleeps most of the time. The sense of hearing and smell are already developing. Soon the first teeth will breakthrough.
“The sex of the little one is not recognisable on the video recordings so far.”
Nora gave birth to twin cubs, fathered by a bear named Ranzo, but one of the youngsters did not survive. Male polar bears are not involved in the rearing of their offspring.
The mother reportedly cuddles the cub to keep it warm and Schratter said the youngster can maintain its body temperatures for short periods of time.
Mother Nora will reportedly leave their sleeping area for a few minutes per day to go to drink but the youngster will then squeak, causing the mother to sprint back.
In the Arctic, the females spend several months in an isolated snow cave to raise their offspring in the deepest polar winter.
During this time, the mothers do not need food because they have previously eaten a supply of fat.
At the end of January, it is likely that Nora will lead her cub into the grounds for the first time.
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