Human Foster Mothers Raise Two Polar Bear Cubs Left Behind By Their True Mother
Four women from Russia are playing the roles of foster mothers to a pair of left-behind polar bear babies born in captivity.
Heartwarming footage and photos obtained by Daily Mail show how the cubs have grown to love their new mothers who care for them tirelessly at a safari park.
The babies are fed warm milk, pampered with massages and manicures, and now at 7-weeks-old seem to be growing quickly.
The successful breeding of captive polar bears is extremely rare and this is the first time it happened in Russia.
Seryozhka, the 7-year-old momma bear from Novaya Zemlya in the Arctic, made a den for her babies at a safari park in Gelendzhik, but then rejected them.
Thankfully, she did not harm them, and the rescue team saved them from starvation.
The human foster mothers are twins Olesya and Anastasia Sakhatskaya, both of whom are 39, Maria Moroz, 32, and Yelena Milovidova, 31.
“They don’t seem to distinguish between the four of us,’ Elena said.
They know the scent of our skin and clothes, and sensing any of us getting close to them means just one thing: mother is here, and food is coming.”
Yelena Milovidova, deputy director of the Gelendzhik Safari Park, said:
“There were no previous cases of nurturing polar bear cubs rejected by their mother in a Russian zoo.
This is the first experience for us.
In the world there were only five or so cases of polar bear cubs raised since birth in captivity.
I do hope that we will succeed.”
Attempts to get the mother to give milk for the babies were not successful, but some of her blood was extracted to make serum for the babies in order to boost their immunity.
The babies – whose father is a Siberian polar bear kept in a zoo – have now reached more than 4 kilograms in weight, and recently opened their eyes for the very first time.
Their weight will likely be doubling every two weeks from now.
When they are all 3-months-old, they will be able to walk outdoors.
See the sweetness in action by clicking below.
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