Polar bear cubs gaining strength at Toledo Zoo - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Polar bear cubs gaining strength at Toledo Zoo

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Two very cute polar bear cubs made their media debut Monday at the Toledo Zoo.

The cubs are very active and even showed off for the media. One cub brought its lunch up to the window for all to see.

These polar bear cubs were born Nov. 21, 2012 and weighed around 1 pound. Now, the male cub weighs about 80 pounds and the female cub weighs about 70 pounds.

"The cubs are doing great. They're just having a ball. When they were four months of age we gave them access to a shallow pool and they're just swimming. They've adapted really, really well. They're just building up all their muscles running around. And I think because mom is very comfortable with our staff, there's nothing scary in their lives, so they just have a lot of fun," said Dr. Randi Meyerson,  assistant director of animal programs at the zoo.

Zoo officials hope the little cubs can teach the public what can be done in order to keep their species on Earth.

"If people cut down on their carbon footprint, if they recycle, and do things like that, it has a direct effect of the ice up in the Arctic. And, polar bears can't survive if there's no ice; they use it for actually having maternal dens and for hunting," said Meyerson.

The Toledo Zoo is holding a voting contest for the public to help name the newborns. Learn how you can help pick the names!

"This is the third year where we've had cubs born. And actually in 2006, we had two sets of cubs born to two different females," said Meyerson.

It's somewhat of a baby boom at the Toledo Zoo the past year, with baby lemurs, a gibbon and tigers. Meyerson says the zoo staff does a great job and is well-respected.

"Zoo programs across the country, they know that Toledo can do a good job, so, we get some genetically valuable animals and the opportunity to breed these animals and produce babies," explained Meyerson.

Meyerson says when babies are produced, it's important to breed ethically and find them an appropriate home for the future.

"The babies that we produce, like the lemurs, are part of a species survival program, you know, when they get older, they'll go somewhere else to breed. So, you know, we're fortunate, you know, people in Toledo do get to see a lot of babies, which is what people like, but then they, you know, they go to appropriate places," said Meyerson.

Until that time comes, you can expect to see the polar bear cubs on display in early May, as soon as they have developed enough strength to handle the zoo's large public pool.

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