SAN DIEGO — An Andean bear cub was born last week at the San Diego Zoo, it was announced Wednesday.
The cub, whose sex is yet to be determined, was born last Wednesday to mother, Alba and sire, Turbo.
Animal care staff are using a video camera to closely monitor the cub and its mother. Staff are cautiously optimistic about the cub’s long-term survival, as the mortality rate is high for the species in their first month, according to zoo officials, adding that the cub “appears to be thriving.”
“We are overjoyed about the birth of Alba’s first cub,” said Chris Hamlin, animal care manager at San Diego Zoo. “Alba is showing all the appropriate behaviors of a good mother, being very attentive to her newborn. We are so impressed with how well she is handling motherhood.”
“The Andean forests where we work are so rugged and dense that it will be a long time before we can study the maternal behavior of wild bears there,” said Russ Van Horn, scientist, Population Sustainability, San Diego Zoo Global and co-chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Andean Bear Expert Team. “Alba’s behavior and her cub’s development will suggest how closely, and for how long, wild mothers and cubs may be linked to birth dens, where we think they’re sensitive to disturbance by humans.”