QUEENS, NYC – An Andean bear cub made his public debut on Thursday and is now ready to explore his new habitat with his mom!
The male cub was born over the winter to mother Nicole, 4, and father Bouba, 6, at the Queens Zoo in New York City.
The cub does not have a name yet, but it 25lbs of cuteness!
This is the first Andean cub to be born in NYC. The species is native to South America, and is in danger of extinction.
The Zoo is breeding Andean bears as part of the Species Survival Plan, which hopes to enhance the genetic viability and demographic stability of animal populations in zoos.
Queens Zoo Director and Animal Curator, Scott Silver, explained there are only 42 of these bears left in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and only six have potential for breeding.
“This is a significant birth for the Queens Zoo and the Andean bear SSP breeding program,” explained Silver. “This little guy may be adorable, but more importantly he reminds us of what we stand to lose when a species is in danger of extinction. We are excited to introduce the cub to New York and to share the work WCS and our partners are doing to save Andean bears and many other species in the wild.”
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimate there are fewer than 18,000 Andean bears left in the wild.
If you are in the New York area and want to visit the new cub, exhibit times will vary until he becomes fully acclimated to is outdoor exhibit.
Copyright 2017 WFMY