The Philadelphia Zoo welcomed a new addition to the family at the start of the year with the birth of two threatened Sloth Bear Cubs. The cubs were born January 2nd, 2023 to their parents 10-year-old mom Kayla and 10-year-old dad Bhalu
This is the second successful birth of this species at the Zoo in the last four years and marks the first successful pair of cubs of this species born in more than 30 years at the Zoo.
The zoo reports that mom and cubs have been doing well and were being monitored via video camera. Sloth bears are tiny at birth and weigh about a pound. They are completely dependent on mom for care.
They begin walking at about one month. At three to four months, mother and cubs emerge from their den, and unlike any other bear species, the babies ride on their mother’s back for about six months. They nurse about a year, and remain with their mom for two to three years.
Protecting The Endangered
The birth of these cubs is surely something to celebrate.
Philadelphia Zoo works with the Species Survival Plan (SSP) breeding program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). The goal of this program is to manage populations of threatened, endangered and other species across AZA institutions to maintain long-term genetic and demographic viability to protect species from extinction.
Philadelphia Zoo is home to four sloth bears: 10-year-old male Bhalu, 10-year-old female Kayla and two cubs.
For those who are hoping to get a glimpse of the little cubs, you will have to wait until Spring, about April, for the cubs to make their appearance. As of now, we do not know the gender or the names. Maybe The Philadelphia Zoo will get help from the public in naming the cubs, similar to what they did before. Once momma cub Kayla says it’s time to venture out of the den, we will finally get to meet the newest addition to Philly Zoo family.