The zoo is giving thanks to having a healthy adorable addition.
The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium announced on Thursday that a polar bear cub was born on Thanksgiving Day to mother Aurora and father Lee.
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Oh Baby! The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is truly thankful to welcome a new polar bear cub born on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, at 12:43 a.m. to mother Aurora and father, Lee! The Animal Care team notes that Aurora is being an attentive mother to her new cub, who has been observed nursing. As Aurora continues to care for her cub, she and her little one will remain in their private denning area behind the scenes until spring. While Aurora is not new to motherhood, having given birth to Nora (Utah’s Hogle Zoo) and twins Neva (Maryland Zoo in Baltimore) and Nuniq (Henry Vilas Zoo), this is the first cub to be sired by male polar bear, Lee. Lee arrived at the Columbus Zoo from Denver Zoo on Nov. 7, 2018. His move was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP), a cooperatively managed program designed to maximize the genetic diversity and increase the population sustainability of threatened and endangered species in human care. Both Aurora and her twin sister, Anana, have been denning for several weeks. The Animal Care team observed Aurora frequently resting in her den leading up to the cub’s birth, while Anana has shown more activity, indicating that she may not be preparing for a birth. Because there are no pregnancy tests for polar bears, the team will continue to monitor Anana’s activity as polar bears can give birth from Nov. to early Jan. Polar bears have one of the lowest reproductive rates of any mammal due to delayed implantation, during which a fertilized egg does not implant in the uterus for several months to ensure the cub is born to the mother at the best time for survival. In 2008, the polar bear became the first species to be listed under the Endangered Species Act as threatened primarily due to climate change. Since 2008, the Zoo has contributed more than $250,000 to research benefiting polar bears in the Arctic. The Zoo is also designated as an Arctic Ambassador Center by Polar Bears International (PBI). At the Columbus Zoo, visitors are encouraged to do their part to save this amazing species by reducing energy consumption. For more information about this significant birth, visit: bit.ly/2osf2ma
The animal care team says the mother and baby seem to be doing just fine. Aurora has been attending to the baby and they see the baby is nursing. The two will remain in their private den until the spring.
This is the fourth litter for Aurora but Lee’s first.
No name has been given to the cub but we can’t wait to see the cutie sometime next Spring!