Wildlife and environment
Polar bear cub born at Yakutia zoo
© RIA Novosti. Aleksandr Kryazhev

Polar bear cub born at Yakutia zoo

A female polar bear named Kolymana has given birth to a cub at Orto Doidu Zoo in Yakutia, the zoo's director Luka Safonov told TASS news agency.

"Kolymana began to hibernate November 30 and hasn't been out for over a month. A video camera in her den showed a little white lump of fur moving around. This has now been verified, but the mother won't bring her cubs out until the spring," Safonov told TASS.

Kolymana stays in the lair, she's not eating or drinking, zoo officials said. "This indicates that Kolymana has cares of her own. Zoo attendants don't enter her lair because it might disrupt the birth and feeding process," zoo sources noted.

According to TASS, polar bears usually give birth to two 500-gram cubs in the wild, and the cubs start gaining weight quickly. They will weigh about ten kilograms before leaving the lair in late March or early April. Female bears don't feed and stay inside their lairs while feeding their offspring.

This polar bear family will move to a new enclosure with a pool next March. This facility is connected to the main enclosure and a section where the female bear is now staying. The overnight lows are now hovering around minus 57 degrees Celsius in Yakutia. The lair has its own microclimate, with temperatures ranging between minus 5 and minus 10 degrees Celsius.   

Kolymana and a male polar bear named Lomonosov live at Orto Doidu Zoo. In April 2012, Kolymana, then three months old, was located among tussocks and hummocks between Leontyev and Chetyryokhstolbovy islands. Lomonosov who is 12 months older was born at the St. Petersburg Zoo. The two bears were united in March 2013.