The Toronto Zoo's polar bear cub has started to take his first steps and is able to fully open his eyes and focus on the surroundings.
The cub born last November was the only one to survive in the litter of three and has been looked after by zookeepers because of his mother's history of rejecting and attacking previous litters. The first three months of a cub's life are critical and many don't survive, but zoo staff have been working around the clock to ensure he received the necessary care.
Weighing in at 9.7 pounds the cub has begun teething and is playful. Having been removed from his incubator, he is acclimating to the cooler temperatures now that his coat is getting thicker, but remains in a climate-controlled environment.
“We hope that he will grow up to become another ambassador for his species, highlighting threats to the arctic environment,” said Dr. Graham Crawshaw, senior veterinarian at the Toronto Zoo.
The World Wildlife Fund classifies the polar bear as a “vulnerable” species and says there are 20,000 to 25,000 worldwide.