Rare sun bear cub born at Chester Zoo
An incredibly rare sun bear cub has been born at Chester Zoo – the first of its kind in the UK.
Sun bears - a highly threatened species from South East Asia – are the world’s smallest bears and keepers estimate the newborn weighed just 400 grams at birth.
The cub is particularly special given the remarkable survival of its parents who were rescued from poachers in Cambodia.
Mum Milli and dad Toni were taken from the wild as young bears by illegal wildlife traders who killed their mothers and kept them as mistreated pets.
After being found in very poor condition and nursed back to health by conservationists working for the Free The Bears organisation in Cambodia, the duo were then moved to the UK, eventually arriving at Chester Zoo to complete their recovery.
Now, after moving into a brand new habitat in Chester, the pair have produced their first healthy cub.
Tim Rowlands, curator of mammals, said: “Chester Zoo was specially selected to work with Milli and Toni and continue their care following the harrowing and horrible experiences they had in their younger lives. It’s simply fantastic that we’ve been able to help them come this far and have a cub together. It’s momentous for them and, with it being a UK first breeding of this species, momentous for the zoo too.
“It’s very early days and the cub is still just tiny but we’re monitoring it closely on remote cameras and mum Milli is doing everything right so far – allowing the cub to feed several times a day and being ever so attentive.
“All being well, it’s now likely she’ll keep her cub tucked away in her cubbing den for up to two months before the two of them begin to venture out.”