Berlin’s Tierpark zoo is anxiously waiting to see if a polar bear cub, born last week, survives its first few days, when the likelihood of it dying is especially high, the zoo’s director said.
The cub’s sibling was stillborn and was eaten by its mother Tonja, the zoo said. The polar bear is the offspring of Tonja, 8, and Wolodja, 6, whose first cub, Fritz, died at four months in March, following complications from a liver inflammation.
Zoo Director Andreas Knieriem said: “We are very glad. Still, like last year, it’s now time to cross fingers.”
The mortality rate of newborn polar bears is 50 percent, he explained, adding: “The likelihood of the baby animal dying in the first 10 days is especially high.”
The surviving cub is around 30 cm long. Its sex is still unknown because staff are unable to approach the cub and its mother in the first few days of its life.