TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Toledo Zoo says Polar Bear and cub are doing well.
According to a recent press release, Crystal and her cub emerged from the den in mid-March and are currently exploring the behind-the-scenes areas of the Zoo's Arctic Encounter, as animal care staff monitor the cub's progress.
Right now, they say the cub is building up strength in the habitat's dig yard, an area filled with soft sand and soil, where the cub can safely play under mom's watchful eye.
The pool in the polar bear exhibit has also been made more swallow for the cub's safety.
And though the cub is still nursing, staff say fish and chow are beginning to be introduced to the cub's entree.
Zoo staff says mom Crystal is quite attentive, yet relaxed with her cub. In fact, Dr. Randi Meyerson, assistant director of animal programs, says the first time mom and cub were given access outdoors they exhibited totally appropriate natural behaviors.
"Mom came out first to make sure it was safe for the cub. When she determined that it was, she called to the cub and it slowly came out," said Dr. Meyerson. "Once it got out, it hung out for quite a while between mom's legs where it is protected. Slowly but surely, the cub became more adventurous and began to venture away from mom and explore on its own. It was fun to watch the process and now the cub loves to roll around in the dirt and even rise and use its front paws to smash mounds of sand."
A medical evaluation will soon be performed to determine the cub's gender, weight and overall wellbeing. A date for the exam has not been set, because staff must make sure that mom and cub are sufficiently bonded.
A date for their debut to the public is also yet to be determined. Staff must first be certain both mom and cub are ready.
The only thing for certain is all the cuteness coming our way.
The Zoo's full update here.