THE HAGUE, Netherlands – A pair of twin polar bear cubs have made their public debut at a Dutch zoo – but without the public because of coronavirus restrictions.
There was no sign of social distancing between the three-and-a-half-month-old cubs and their mother as they cautiously ventured out of the maternity den at the Ouwehands Zoo Wednesday morning.
The twins stuck close to their mother, Freedom, as they explored their outdoor enclosure for the first time since they were born Nov. 27.
In video released by the zoo, Freedom kept a close eye on her cubs and gently licked the head of one as it suckled.
The cubs are the product of a European breeding program intended to help preserve the endangered species.
The gender of the cubs is not yet known. Once that is established, likely after they take their first swim, the zoo has two male names – Yuku and Atlas – and two female names – Yura and Nova – ready.
The Ouwehands Zoo in the central town of Rhenen has been forced to close its doors by a government ban, in force until at least April 6, on gatherings of more than 100 people.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Coronavirus newsletter
Get the day’s latest Coronavirus news delivered to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.