Sloth Bear Cubs Make Their Adorable Debut at the Philadelphia Zoo — and They Need Names
The four-month-old sloth bear cubs are enjoying their first day outside.
Back in January, the Philadelphia Zoo’s 10-year-old sloth bears Kayla and Bhalu gave birth to two cubs. It was the first time a pair of the vulnerable species native to India, Nepal and Sri Lanka were born at the zoo in more than 30 years.
We couldn’t wait to see them. But we had to: Up until today, the two male cubs have led a private life growing in their den. Sloth bear cubs only weigh one pound when born and depend on their mother for private care for their first few months. (Male sloth bears apparently don’t play a role in rearing their offspring. Thanks, a lot, Bhalu.)
That all changed today. The two little cubs made their debut and stepped into their outdoor habitat for the very first time to play (and cuddle) together.
When sloth bear cubs first emerge from their den, they ride on their mother’s back — this behavior is unique to this bear species — for about six months. They typically will nurse for about a year, then stay close to Mom for two to three years.
“These rambunctious toddlers are sure to steal the hearts of many of our guests. We can’t wait to celebrate all the developmental milestones to come with our guests, members, staff, volunteers and entire Zoo community,” says Maggie Morse, the zoo’s curator of carnivores and ungulates.
You can watch the cubs anytime with the new sloth bear live cam on the zoo’s website. The zoo tells us the best time to view the cubs is in the morning.
And while you’re there, you can vote for the new cubs’ names. Choose between Kelce & Harper or Hall & Oates. So, you decide, Philly: Are the new sloth bear cubs more “No One Likes Us, We Don’t Care” or “You Make My Dreams Come True”?
Voting opens today and runs through Sunday, May 28th. The winning names will be announced on Monday, May 29th.