At the Ranua Zoo in Lapland there is growing hope that the polar bear cub that was born in November might stay alive. This would be the first time that a polar bear cub born in Finland survives.
According to a Monday announcement by the zoo, the cub has already passed the most difficult milestones of its early life. The first five days are the most critical ones.
The Ranua cub was born on November 18th weighing a mere half a kilogram. Since then its weight has already more than doubled.
The polar bear mother Venus gave birth to two cubs, one of which died within hours of birth.
The mother nurtured the lifeless cub for almost a week by keeping it near her.
The cause of death will never be determined as ultimately the mother seems to have eaten the body of her dead cub.
According to the zoo, polar bears’ breeding difficulties in captivity are down to outside factors, which can cause the mother to reject or even kill its cubs.
In Ranua, Venus’s den building and its surroundings were isolated well in advance before the birth.
The cub’s life can be followed online in the Ranua Zoo Blog (see link below).