Polar Bear Cubs Opens Eyes For the First Time

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Twin baby polar bears at the Hellabrunn Zoo in Munich, Germany, have opened their eyes for the first time. The twin polar bear cubs, just five weeks old, have begun to glimpse their mother Giovanna and the rest of the world. (Read more about polar bears in National Geographic magazine.)

World’s Cutest Animal: Polar Bear Cubs

“Day by day the little ones are becoming more active, bigger and stronger, which is proof that everything is going to plan,” Beatrix Köhler, zoo curator and biologist, said in a press release.

It’s especially happy news because the twin cubs have survived to the critical five-week point: 70 percent of polar bear cubs born in captivity die before this milestone. (Watch a video of a polar bear baby taking its first steps at the Toronto Zoo.)

Polar bear cubs

Things to Know About Polar Bear Cubs
The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is a carnivorous bear whose native range lies largely within the Arctic Circle, encompassing the Arctic Ocean, its surrounding seas and surrounding land masses. It is a large bear, approximately the same size as the omnivorous Kodiak bear (Ursus arctos middendorffi). A boar (adult male) weighs around 350–700 kg (770–1,500 lb), while a sow (adult female) is about half that size. Although it is thesister species of the brown bear, it has evolved to occupy a narrower ecological niche, with many body characteristics adapted for cold temperatures, for moving across snow, ice, and open water, and for hunting the seals which make up most of its diet. Although most polar bear cubs are born on land, they spend most of their time at sea. Their scientific name means “maritime bear”, and derives from this fact. Polar bears hunt their preferred food of seals from the edge of sea ice, often living off fat reserves when no sea ice is present.

 

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