Tierpark Animal News

Polar bear cub has died

Tierpark Berlin’s baby polar bear died in the early hours of the morning on 2 January. An autopsy is currently being carried out at the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

The cub, who was born to polar bear mother Tonja, was only 26 days old. “We were all aware of the high mortality rate for polar bear cubs in the first few weeks, but this is still tragic news and we are deeply saddened,” reports polar bear curator Dr Florian Sicks. “We will now analyse the footage from the surveillance camera and wait for the autopsy results,” adds Zoo and Tierpark Director Dr Andreas Knieriem.  

On 1 January, keepers were happy to find the cub safe and sound following New Year’s Eve and feeding as usual from mother Tonja. When they checked the surveillance camera on the morning of 2 January, however, the keepers discovered a lifeless little body.

Tonja, aged eight, gave birth for the second time at Tierpark Berlin on 7 December 2017. The cub’s father was six-year-old Wolodja. Tonja has been an exemplary mother and took great care of her tiny female cub.