Zookeepers are hand-rearing this amazingly cute sloth bear cub. They're doing it because the cub's mom Khali ate the baby girl's two siblings.

The three cubs were born at the National Zoo on Dec. 29, 2013. The first cub was "ingested," as the zoo put it in a news release, about 20 minutes after being born -- which was not, evidently, especially alarming since "it is not uncommon" for sloth bears and other carnivores "to ingest stillborn cubs, or even live cubs if they or the mother are compromised in some way."

Seven days later, Khali then ate the second cub. "At that point," said the zoo in its news release, "keepers decided the only way the remaining cub would likely survive was to retrieve her from Khali’s den."

A veterinary examination found the remaining cub to be weak and dangerously cold, perhaps due to not having been cuddled by her mother. She was treated and stabilized, then on Jan. 9, when it was time to leave the veterinary hospital, the zoo felt it would be best to find her a different environment.

Zookeepers have been staying with the ursine youngster around the clock, bottle-feeding her and wearing her in a sling to simulate the contact she would have had with her mother (sloth bear mothers carry their cubs on their backs).

Now that she is a little older, zoo staff also spend time playing with the cub, who is living in the sloth bear habitat, in a separate pen from the other bears.


Responses to "Baby sloth bear is being raised by humans after her mother rejects her (Video)"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Very nice what the people are doing for this baby bear

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