Featured Image Credit: SeaWorld
By Emily Persico
Liya, a polar bear at SeaWorld Australia, became a proud mother of her cub on April 26th, 2017. Now, just two months later, her young fluffball is taking its first wobbly steps!
“It is an exciting time for our team as we begin to get a first glimpse into the cub’s personality with the little one starting to interact with mum Liya outside of feeding and sleeping,” said SeaWorld’s Director of Marine Sciences Trevor Young.
Liya is expected to reveal her youngin’ this September, and SeaWorld staffers have been busy cub-proofing the enclosure for their emergence from the den. They’ve filled in dangerously deep pools and provided environmental enrichment for the young cub to play with.
Polar bears are on the IUCN Red List with just 20,000 to 25,000 individuals remaining. Their number one threat is the large and looming climate change, which has already begun to melt away their homes. Scientists have acknowledged that conservation of polar bears is exceedingly difficult because little is known about their ecology.
SeaWorld hopes to change this. With research being done by scientists all over, SeaWorld’s polar bear exhibits remain a sanctuary and ambassador for polar bears in the wild.
“Two of our polar bears, Hudson and Nelson, were left orphaned as cubs after their mother was shot by government rangers when she came into an Inuit village trying to find food,” explained a SeaWorld staffer in a comment on Facebook. “The Quebec government selected us to house these bears based on our professionalism, exhibit size, and our established animal enrichment programs.”
“This gorgeous cub will be spreading word of polar bear conservation with every wibbly wobbly step.”
To get cub updates, visit SeaWorld’s Facebook.