The polar bear cubs have passed their first medical examination with flying colours. The vets have now confirmed the twins are in the best of health.
On Friday, February 21st, mother bear Giovanna (7) was separated from her twins for the first time as three vets at Munich's Hellabrunn Zoo, Dr Christine Gohl, Dr Nicole Kowaleski and zoo director Dr Andreas Knieriem, performed a medical check-up. The baby polar bears were weighed, checked to determine gender and chipped. Five minutes later, the cute little family was reunited. A more detailed examination of the cubs was then undertaken by their mother Giovanna, before allowing her newborns to return to the milk bar.
"As I suspected, the twins are a girl and a boy. And quite surprisingly, the girl is considerably stronger, weighing 5.4 kg. The darker of the two is the boy, who weighs 4.6 kg," says zoo director Dr Andreas Knieriem.
Dr Christine Gohl is equally impressed: "The polar bear babies are healthy. The chips mean they now also have an "identity card" and can be properly registered in Hellabrunn Zoo's animal database."
The two baby polar bears will still be protected by their mother Giovanna in their Arctic-style family home for several weeks to come, without contact with the outside world. It is expected that the three will first venture outside into the open in the second half of March. Contact with father Yoghi (14) will be made in the "cuddling enclosure." The decision as to whether there can be an entire family reunion or whether Yoghi must continue to remain separated from his partner and their offspring will depend on how Giovanna reacts.
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