Polar bear special from the Columbus Zoo

Apr 18th, 2017 | By | Category: Featured articles

18.4.2017 – Source: The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Hi all! My name is Ellie and I am a keeper in the North America and Polar Frontier regions here at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. I have taken over the Zoo’s social media accounts today. We have A LOT of things going on in our Polar Frontier area (HELLO CUBBIES!!) so get ready for a fun-filled day full off all things bears! Here I am with polar bear Aurora’s back foot while she gets a root canal. Animal health is extremely important to us and we have AMAZING Vets on staff along with various specialists that help us keep all of our animals in tip-top shape!

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Every day brings something new and exciting for the cubs as they continue to learn more about life and the world outside the den. Swimming is currently the most important skill they are trying to master. Both moms are teaching their cub(s) how to swim, and the little ones are naturally very curious and investigate the water often. Here you can see Aurora’s twins “yelling” at each other, not wanting to be pushed in the pool, and Anana’s cub standing up on the back paws!

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The cubs are not yet on view, but once we are confident that they can swim, then we will introduce them to the big pool in the habitat. Also, some of you are asking if Anana’s cub and Aurora’s twins will be put together. They will not, as polar bear mothers do not raise their young together.

White cubs …..

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… turned into brown cubs in seconds flat. 🙂

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Food is obviously very important for a growing cubby. Each cub is now getting the same diet as the adults, consisting of polar chow, meat, and fish (just smaller portions), but mom’s milk is still nutritionally the most important part of their diet. With a fat content of 33%, mama polar bear milk helps to pack on those pounds! Here you can see and hear Aurora’s twins nursing. That ‘motor’ or humming sound is the cubs suckling!

Sleep is also very important for a growing cubby. Like most youngsters, these cubs play hard and sleep hard. We constantly find them sleeping in the funniest positions, but sometimes right on top of mom is the best place to take a snooze!

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Taking care of cubbies is a lot of work and sometimes mom just needs a little break. Aurora has figured out her “mom spot” in the behind-the-scenes yard where she can enjoy a few minutes without the kids jumping all over her. As you can see, cubbies NEED to know what is so exciting up there and are trying their hardest to get to mama bear!

Meanwhile, since polar bear dads don’t have any role in cub rearing, papa bear Nanuq enjoys taking a nice dip in the pool.

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Anana’s little cubby  has a very unique marking. We noticed while monitoring the den cameras that this little one had a small patch of gray hair on the neck. It’s been about 4 months since then and the patch has remained, so I’m hoping it stays forever since it’s so unique and cute! It can be a little hard to see sometimes since all the cubbies love to get dirty, but see if you can spot it in this picture while mom gives the little cub a quick bath.

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Enrichment is a big part of our growing cubbies’ world and they absolutely love everything, but ice is especially fun. Here you can see Anana’s cubby rolling in a tub of ice!

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  1. Liebe Mervi,

    dieser schöne Eintrag über unsere amerikanischen Eisbärbabies ist Balsam für unsere traurigen Herzen nach Yoghis plötzlichem Tod. Trotz der derzeitigen Trauer können wir nicht umhin, uns immer wieder in die kleinen
    Pelzkugeln zu verlieben und das ist wohl auch gut so.
    Der kleine hellgraue Fleck bei Annas Baby ist natürlich ein ganz besonderes Kennzeichen, das hoffentlich
    tatsächlich erhalten bleibt.

    Danke für diese erheiternden Videos und liebe Grüße!

  2. Dear Mervi and Ellie
    The three cubs are certainly a handful and are going to be really great
    Polars. I hope the little one does keep her grey marking. Nanuq seems to be
    in good shape too.

  3. Dear Mervi, thank you for sharing this report with us. The trio is more than adorable and what a pity that polar bear mums do not bundle their forces for raising their kids together. The grey spot of Anana’s baby is very remarkable. And I was wondering whether she is bearing the first sign that in the end, polar bears maybe will not really be extincted but just return to their origin and become again brown bears and learn again to live on the land.

  4. Dear Mervi!
    Thank you for this nice and considerable report about the polar bears and their adorable cubbies in the Columbus Zoo.
    The videos are simply great. It is obvious the little ones do enjoy their lives to the full.
    I also hope Ananas cub will keep her attribute on her neck.


  5. Dear Mervi,
    two mothers with 3 babies are lovely. I hope the zoo has enough place for them all. It is a pity that 2 mothers cannot stay with the kids together.
    Nanuq looks nice.

  6. Dear Mervi and Ellie,

    Thank you for getting into contact with each other and sharing the Polar news of Columbus Zoo with us.
    The twins’ speedy changing their outlook impressed me a lot. I second Mama Bear’s point of view: moms need a break every now and then and sometimes it’s a wise decision to remain visible but unreachable 😀


  7. Dear Mervi & Ellie,

    Thank you both for this delightful report!

    These cubbies are adorable and so much fun to watch!

    xo k-j

  8. Liebe Mervi,

    sind das süße Fotos und Videos von den beiden Twins.
    Wer möchte da nicht mit Ellie tauschen, und die Tatze eines Eisbären anfassen?

    Die beiden Kleinen sehen dunkel gefärbt auch sehr niedlich aus.

    Am besten aber gefällt mir das bekannte “Nuckern” auf dem Foto, wo die beiden an Mamas Milchbar sind. Das könnte ich stundenlag hören.

    Danke fürs Einstellen.

    Liebe Grüße

  9. Wann hat ein Zoo mal zwei Bärenmütter mit Jungen.
    Das ist schon etwas besonderes. Und sie scheinen
    alle bestens zu gedeihen und spielen sehr munter. 🙂

  10. Liebe Mervi,
    3 kleine Eisbärchen, das ist schon ein besonderes Glück.
    Die beiden Mütter haben gut zu tun und vielleicht können die Familien zusammen geführt werden.
    Tolle Bilder der Kleinen und sehr witzig wie sie ihre Welt erkunden.
    Vielen Dank, hat viel Spaß gemacht nach Übersee in den ColumbusZoo zu schauen.
    Liebe Grüße Moni K

  11. ‘Copy Cat!” – aha! (steht plötzulich rigendwo quer übers Bild im ersten Video) – Da weht offensichtlich ein jugendlich-frischer Wind bei der Berihterstattung im ‘Columbus Zoo’ . Ehrlich gesagt: nicht ganz so ‘my cup of tea.’, aber die Bilder der tierischen Akteure sind toll und der geschriebene Text ist auch unterhaltsam und informativ. Was will man mehr!

    The cubs are simply ‘awwww. . . ‘ and their make up is anbeatable!

    Köstlich!, das Video mit der ‘entrückten Mutter’ auf dem Betonklotz und den verzweifelt versuchenden Jungen, auch dort hinauf zu gelangen.

    Ein Bad in Eiswürfeln dürfte für kleine EisBärchen natürlich ein ganz besonderes Vergnügen sein!

    Thanks to the COLOMBUS ZOO. Thanks to MERVI.