Welcome, snow cutie.
The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s Highland Wildlife Park knew that a baby polar bear had been born, because they heard “high-pitched noises” coming from the maternity den. In a press release on Wednesday, the zoo announced that the wee bairn had made its first actual appearance on camera, emerging to greet this world with its mum, Victoria. Victoria had mated with one of the park’s two male polar bears, Arktos, and the cub was born about a week before Christmas.
They don’t know yet what the little bear’s sex is, but should be able to check under the fluff in the next few weeks and will give it a name. The head keeper of the carnivores, Una Richardson, said she’d been checking on Victoria and had seen her emerge from the den to roll around in the snow and eat more solid food—she’s been living off her body’s fat stores as she nursed the cub. Richardson described the wonderful moment this puff ball of winter delight emerged:
“Suddenly I saw a small, fluffy bundle next to her and had to pinch myself to check I wasn’t seeing things. It was a very special experience and one I’ll never forget. We also have motion-sensitive cameras safely positioned near Victoria’s den and we were delighted to see we had captured her cub’s first few steps outside.
Mom and baby are still in a private enclosure, needing some peace and quiet as they explore their world. The rest of us will remain in our homes as the thundersnow pours down, out of respect.