Four human foster mothers are taking turns raising a pair of abandoned polar bear cubs born in captivity at a safari park in Russia.
It is exceptionally rare to successfully breed polar bears in captivity and has never happened in Russia. So they are happy to announce that a pair of polar bear cubs were born at a safari park in Gelendzhik.
The cubs’ seven-year-old mother, Seryozhka, from the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic built a den for her new cubs, but then rejected them.
The keepers said she did not harm them, but surely abandoned the cubs.
The foster mothers are 39-year-old twins Anastasia and Olesya Sakhatskaya, 32-year-old Maria Moroz, and 31-year-old Yelena Milovidova.
“They don’t seem to distinguish between the four of us,” said Milovidova, deputy director of the Gelendzhik Safari Park. “They know the scent of our skin and clothes, and sensing any of us getting close to them means just one things: mother is here, and food is coming.”
“There were no previous cases of nurturing polar bears rejected by their mother in a Russian zoo,” she added. “In the world there were only five or so cases of polar bear cubs raised since birth in captivity.”
The cubs’ mother rejected to give the cubs her milk, so the keepers took her blood instead to be used as serum to the cubs, which is vital to boost their immunity. Meanwhile, the father is a polar bear at a zoo in Siberia.
The cubs have recently opened their eyes, and should start doubling in weight every couple of weeks. They will start outdoor walks at three months.
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