Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

April 2, 2013 at 3:04 PM

Sloth bear cubs to debut May 4 at Woodland Park Zoo

Photo courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo

Photos courtesy of Woodland Park Zoo

slothcubTwin sloth bear cubs, now 3 months old, made their first venture Friday to their Woodland Park Zoo outdoor exhibit, which has been closed to the public for construction. The cubs have been in a behind-the-scenes maternity den with their mother since their birth in December, and staff haven’t been close enough even to determine their gender.

But on Friday, the cubs appeared to be healthy and, like most young’uns, curious as they dug at the ground and scrambled onto logs. The cubs will have more private outdoor sessions before their debut to the public on May 4.

There are fewer than 50 sloth bears in North American zoos, and fewer than 10,000 remaining in the wild. The bears are found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. Newborns are blind at birth, with their eyes opening at about three weeks. They start walking at about 4 weeks.

One extraordinarily dull fact: They were initially classified as bear sloths when they were thought to be sloths, but their name was changed to “sloth bear” in 1810 when they were discovered to be Asian bears. Store that fact away for awkward dinner conversation.

Comments | More in Environment, Photos | Topics: sloth bears, Woodland Park Zoo


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►