The Toronto Zoo's polar bear cub took its first steps this week, and zoo staff captured the moment on video.
The 2-month-old unnamed cub stumbles and falls a few times before finally getting the hang of walking.
"It’s incredible," wildlife care supervisor Jeff Young told InsideToronto.com. "When you can actually see him take those first couple of steps, it’s very, very exciting because it’s just one more of those little milestones seeing him grow up."
But walking isn't the only milestone the cub has reached. He also recently started to play and teethe.
The 10-pound polar bear receives a bottle of milk six times a day, and zookeepers say he’s healthy and growing quickly.
The bear was one of three male cubs born on Nov. 9 to the zoo’s female bear, Aurora.
Although Aurora nursed the cubs shortly after birth, two of the cubs didn’t survive their first 48 hours.
Zoo staff monitored the remaining cub and quickly realized that it was no longer moving as strongly as before. They decided the best way to ensure his survival would be to transfer him to the zoo’s Wildlife Health Center.
"We really can’t pinpoint what happened," Young said. "Did she produce enough milk to sustain three? We really don’t know, and that's the difficulty for us, so we’re trying to liaise with other institutions and develop a plan hopefully for this upcoming season in which we can set her up for success."
The cub remains in a temperature-controlled environment at the center, and soon the zoo will hold a contest to name him.
"We are very happy with his progress so far," senior veterinarian Dr. Graham Crawshaw said in a news release. "We hope that he will grow up to become another ambassador for his species, highlighting threats to the Arctic environment."
Watch the cub take his first steps in the video below, and scroll down to see more photos of him. And if your heart can take it, you can check out more videos and photos at theToronto Zoo website.
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