5/10/2011 12:40:00 PM

Orphaned Alaska Polar Bear Cub

Mother & cubs heading for the sea iceOfficials with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Association of Zoo & Aquariums' Polar Bear Species Survival Plan (SSP) are carefully considering options for the orphaned cub rescued earlier this month from an Alaskan oil field.

Dr. Randi Meyerson of the Toledo Zoo, chair of the AZA Bear Taxon Advisory Group, says that the cub will go to a zoo or aquarium equipped to meet a polar bear's physical and psychological needs. In addition, the facility must have strong educational programs that focus on polar conservation in the context of climate change and habitat degradation.

Without a mother to care for them, young cubs are unable to survive in the demanding conditions of the Arctic.

Photo ©Mike Lockhart.

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