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Polar Bear Cubs Get Pampered By Zoo Staff After Being Rejected By Mother

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Polar Bear Cubs Get Pampered By Zoo Staff After Being Rejected By Mother

Zoo staff have stepped up their maternal instincts after two polar bear cubs were rejected by their biological mother.

The seven-week-old animals now receive 24/7 care from the six zookeepers at the safari park in Gelendzhik, Russia and are giving them the pampering of a lifetime.

Daily Mail reports the cubs are getting manicures and massages as well as warm milk in order to give them the best possible start in life.

Breeding polar bear cubs in captivity is incredibly rare and that's why such care is being taken to ensure they are happy and healthy.

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Credit: Yelena Milovidova/Gelendzhik Safari Park
Credit: Yelena Milovidova/Gelendzhik Safari Park
Credit: Yelena Milovidova/Gelendzhik Safari Park
Credit: Yelena Milovidova/Gelendzhik Safari Park

The staff were forced to step in when the cubs' mum, a seven-year-old polar bear from the Novaya Zemlya archipelago in the Arctic, rejected them.

Deputy director of the Gelendzhik Safari Park, Yelena Milovidova, said: "Sadly, Seryozhka the mother declined the den we made for her, and showed no signs of maternal instinct.

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"We had to take the cubs away, and six of us including myself acted as mothers to the newborns, keeping a non-stop eye to make sure they were warm and had enough milk."

Seryozhka refused to give milk to the babies herself, however staff were able to get blood from her to give to the cubs to boost their immunity.

Credit: Yelena Milovidova/Gelendzhik Safari Park
Credit: Yelena Milovidova/Gelendzhik Safari Park
Credit: Yelena Milovidova/Gelendzhik Safari Park
Credit: Yelena Milovidova/Gelendzhik Safari Park
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Thankfully, it seems like the cubs don't recognise they are being raised by humans, with Yelena adding: "They know the scent of our skin and clothes, and sensing any of us getting close to them means just one thing: mother is here, and food is coming.

"There were no previous cases of nurturing polar bear cubs rejected by their mother in a Russian zoo. This is the first experience for us.

"In the world there were only five or so cases of polar bear cubs raised since birth in captivity. I do hope that we will succeed."

The cubs have recently opened their eyes for the first time and staff hope to start giving them outdoor walks when they reach three months.

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Yelenda admits that it's uncommon for a mother to reject her cubs, but the tricky part is making sure the babies stay alive.

"This is a unique experience for us, and incredibly precious experience for the rest of the world because in all there were less than twenty cubs raised in captivity without mother's help during last 50 years," she said.

"This statistics is incomparable to any other wild animal like elephants or orang-utan. To nurture a polar bear cub is a task next to impossible."

Featured Image Credit: Safari Park Gelendzhik

Topics: News, Animals

Stewart Perrie
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