Hogle Zoo officials say they've got a sure match for any cute baby pictures you've got at home.
Twin polar bear cubs, only a few hours old, were seen for the first time early Tuesday with the use of a surveillance camera set up in their den behind the Bear Grotto at the zoo. A videotape confirms what the zoo's bear staff had suspected for weeks, that Chinook, a 20-year-old polar bear, was pregnant.The camera and video equipment, provided by Swire Coca-Cola USA, enabled zookeepers to catch a rare glimpse of the newborns. The videotape shows the two cubs, each weighing approximately one pound and wearing a coat of downy, white fur, quietly snuggled together, napping.
"We suspected (Chinook) might be pregnant based on her behavior and prior breeding patterns with Andy, the zoo's male polar bear. It's difficult to confirm a pregnancy until cubs are actually born. Even then, it could take weeks to see them because of their size and the secretive nature of the female polar bear. It's extremely unusual to ever see polar bear cubs this young, and to have it on tape is incredible," said zoo veterinarian Dr. Ross Anderson.
The zoo will keep the two cubs off public exhibit in a secluded den until early spring, when the cubs are old enough to begin caring for themselves.