An Ohio zoo is celebrating the birth of a polar bear cub. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium says the cub, shown in a Columbus Dispatch video, was born early Thursday morning to 13-year-old Aurora, per the AP. "The #ColumbusZoo is #thankful to welcome a new polar bear cub born on Thanksgiving Day at 12:43," a tweet from the zoo announced. "Aurora is being an attentive mom, and the Animal Care team has observed the cub nursing in the private den." The zoo says polar bear newborns have a low survival rate in their early weeks; employees are monitoring the cub's care using cameras in a private den area. The bears are expected to remain out of public view until spring.
A zoo press release notes that Aurora has three surviving offspring from previous litters. Those bears now live at zoos in Utah, Maryland, and Wisconsin. The newest cub was sired by a 20-year-old bear named Lee. He was moved to Columbus from the Denver Zoo a year ago under a species survival plan recommendation. "We are very proud of the continued success of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium's polar bear program," says zoo CEO Tom Stalf. "The polar bear is a species that continues to face many threats to their survival, and we are not only helping to contribute to their future with these births, but we also remain committed to sharing the knowledge we gain through these experiences with our conservation partners and others working to help save polar bears."
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