TOLEDO (WTVG) - The latest arrival at The Toledo Zoo will soon make a big splash. We have new information about a polar bear cub that was born in December and its part in an important mission.
This is the seventh cub Crystal has had during her time at the zoo.
Mom and baby are in a den right now, and it will likely be a couple months before they're on exhibit in the Arctic Encounter.
The zoo is sharing video of mom and baby inside that den. It shows that everything is going well. Audio and video feeds allow staff members to keep a close eye on the two. The cub was about a pound at birth, but has quickly packed on the pounds.
Michael Frushour is the curator of mammals at the zoo, "At this point, the cub is probably 20-30 pounds. By the time we do the neonatal exam he or she could be about 50 pounds. It's hard to imagine that it will be that big just a few months after the cub was a tiny little thing."
That first exam will happen in the next month or so and it will provide vital information, "We'll do the exam a to find out the sex of the cub. We'll do vaccinations and blood work to make sure everything is okay."
Once they are out of the den and before they go on public exhibit, Crystal and her cub will go into an off exhibit area . This is video of previous cubs in that special training spot It has what's called a dig yard to help cubs learn to climb and build muscles. There's also a pool that allows the staff to set the water levels as cubs learn to swim, "That's important to us to give mom a chance to show the baby what water is and how to get in and out of the pool"
While mom and baby are in the den, the cub's father Marty was out on exhibit Wednesday. Marty and Crystal have been a big part of helping their species, "Polar bears are in danger in the wild because of climate change and sea ice melting.They have to travel farther and farther for food and they are encroaching on human habitat which creates the human-animal conflict.Our zoo is where people can come to learn about these animals, and take that knowledge and do something about it. That's why we're here." A new little life, that could have a big impact on the future of the polar bear population.
The name of the new cub will be chosen by zoo keepers and staff. We'll let you know as soon as it's announced.