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Toronto Zoo Announces Polar Bear Birth, And A Loss

11/20/2015 11:47 EST | Updated 11/20/2015 11:59 EST
Toronto Zoo

The Toronto Zoo announced today that female polar bear Aurora, welcomed two cubs on Wednesday Nov.11. Sadly, only one survived.

The surviving cub is currently in the Zoo's intensive care unit in the Wildlife Health Centre where it is being closely watched by staff.

"Aurora demonstrated good maternal instincts and her cubs did attempt to nurse, but it appears she was not producing any milk to feed her newborns,” Eric Cole, manager of wildlife care, said in a press release.

Since Aurora is unable to feed her cub, zookeepers will be feeding the newborn with a special milk formula that has been used and perfected in the past.

Though the young cub is still in critical care, Dr. Chris Dutton, head of veterinary services at the Toronto Zoo, says it is responding well to the treatments provided.

This young cub is one of many newborns at the Toronto Zoo this year. In September, the zoo welcomed four white lion cubs, followed by two panda cubs (the first pandas born in Canada!) in October.

According to Polar Bears International, it is quite common for polar bears to give birth to twins. At birth, most cubs weigh about one pound and range between 12 and 14 inches in length.

In the Arctic, cubs stay with their mothers for two and a half years while they learn how to hunt and survive in nature. Wild polar bears are currently considered vulnerable for endangerment by the World Wildlife Fund. Over the years, many shocking images of skeletal polar bears have appeared online as a warning of the devastating effects of climate change.

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