New Polar Bear Cub Struts Her Stuff at Berlin Zoo

(CN) — Allowed to venture out of her cage for the first time, a 3-month-old polar bear made a wet and wild debut Friday at the Berlin Tierpark zoo.

Not yet named, the cub was born Dec. 1 to mama bear Tonja and is said to be developing well.

Polar bears have an “extremely high” infant mortality rate: Roughly 85 percent of polar bears in the wild do not live past their second birthday, and both of Tonja’s last two cubs died within months of birth.

The zoo has been careful to let Tonja transition back to zoo life with her new cub slowly, as polar bears are solitary animals. No one approached the birthing den for months after the cub’s birth — only giving the cub her first medical check-up in February.

Tonja herself is 9 and began her last pregnancy after mating with 7-year-old Wolodja several times in March and April 2018. To ensure a peaceful pregnancy for Tonja, Wolodja was moved back to the zoo over the summer.

As the cub ventured out of her indoor cage for the first time Friday, she and Tonja took a tour of their enclosure including an icy pond swim.

It was the first of what will be daily outings, the zoo says.

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