COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is celebrating the birth of a polar bear cub born on Thanksgiving.
The cub's mother is a 13-year-old bear named Aurora. The cub was sired by a 20-year-old bear named Lee.
Zoo officials said that Aurora "is being an attentive mother to her new cub, who has been observed nursing."
According to the zoo, polar bears have one of the lowest survival rates of any mammal.
"Polar bear reproduction is a complicated process due to delayed implantation, during which a fertilized egg does not implant in the uterus for several months to ensure the cub is born to the mother at the best time for survival," zoo officials said.
Aurora and her cub will remain "behind the scenes" at the zoo until spring.
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO Tom Stalf issued the following statement:
“We are very proud of the continued success of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s polar bear program. The birth of this polar bear cub is extremely exciting, of course, but the work of our team isn’t over as the survival rate for a delicate cub during its first few weeks is low based on a variety of factors. I am also extremely proud of our Animal Care team, who continually show their expertise and dedication as they work day and night to provide the animals with top-quality care. The polar bear is a species that continues to face many threats to their survival, and we are not only helping to contribute to their future with these births, but we also remain committed to sharing the knowledge we gain through these experiences with our conservation partners and others working to help save polar bears,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO Tom Stalf."