TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - The Toledo Zoo gave WTOL 11 the first in-person look at their new polar bear cub.
First WTOL learned that the little bundle of fur born in early December is a girl. She had her first physical exam a couple weeks ago and weighed in at 53 pounds. She doesn't have a name yet, but will before she goes on exhibit for the public.
Since she was born she's has been spending some quality time with her mom Crystal in an off exhibit den and is set to make her public debut likely sometime in May!
"We have to see how she's acclimating to the pool and feeling very calm and collect in there and secure," said Dr. Randi Meyerson, Asst. Director of Animal Programs. "Right now she loves the pool, but when mom comes in and plays hard and splashes her hard, she runs out of it. So, we just need to have her feel secure being in the pool with her mom."
She currently weighs about 60 pounds, but is growing quickly. The cub will probably stay at the Toledo Zoo for a year and a half to two years before moving to another zoo to hopefully be able to breed there.
"These cubs really act as ambassadors to tell the story of climate change," Dr. Meyerson explained. "Our animals are found across the whole United States doing that at other places."
The polar bear breeding program at the Toledo Zoo is currently the most successful in the country, with 7 cubs in the last 10 years.
"I think a lot of it is our keeper staff, there's a lot of trust between them and the bears and they know their animals well," Dr. Meyerson said.
Part of the mission of the Toledo Zoo is to be able to send the cubs to other cities to be ambassadors for the species in the wild, hopefully inspiring people to reduce their carbon footprint.
"If people in Toledo do a little bit more recycling and buy recycled products, you know, a lot of people doing little things, it really does help the ice up in the arctic where the wild polar bears are," Dr. Meyerson told us. "So they really are an important part of trying to save those bears in the wild."
Again, this adorable bundle of fur is still in an off-exhibit den with her mom, but will likely be ready to meet the public sometime in May.
For more info on the cubs progress, you can follow along here.