A 16-year-old polar bear gave birth to a pair of cubs on April 26 at Sea World Australia and has been caring for them in her den since. The cubs are the second litter to Liya, who is part of the Polar Bear Shores exhibit at the Gold Coast marine park in Queensland. Zookeepers said the cubs weighed approximately 600 grams and were 15 centimetres long. They were born blind and toothless, with short, soft fur. The video shows Liya caring for the cubs in her den while they suckle their milk. Credit: Sea World Australia via Storyful
SEA World staff on the Gold Coast are celebrating the arrival of two tiny polar bear cubs.
The happy occasion marks the second successful breeding in the amusement and animal park.
The new cubs, two males, are being cared for by their mother in a specially crafted den.
Sea World staff are monitoring the trio remotely.
The twins are the third and fourth cubs to be born at the park’s Polar Bear Shores exhibit since it opened in 2000.
In 2013 Liya gave birth to Henry, who was moved to a research station in Canada two years ago.
Sea World marine scientist Trevor Long said the cubs’ delivery last Wednesday to the park’s 16-year-old female Liya is “critical” to the long-term survival of polar bears.
Mr Long said the new arrivals continue to highlight the importance of the park’s exhibit.
“There’s not a lot of zoological facilities breeding polar bears in the world.
“There’s about 22,000 to 30,000 polar bears, they are listed as threatened, and that’s very critical. Due to climate change, we’re seeing a much shorter winter and these bears are not being able to reach their full potential,” he said.
Mr Long said the first couple of weeks are crucial to the bear’s survival and staff are “cautiously optimistic” at this stage.
Both bears were born blind and weighing approximately 600g, but like their half-brother Henry, are expected to weigh around 250kg by the time they are two-and-a-half.
If all goes well, Mr Long says both cubs will be moved to a public display sometime in September.