Germany's new polar bear cub opens eyes for first time
The female polar bear cub that is being raised by bottle at a zoo in the south of Germany opens its eyes for the first time, her keepers say.
15th January 2008
Nuremberg (dpa) - The unnamed cub first opened her right eye a little and then her left one, said her keepers at Nuremberg zoo. Veterinary Bernhard Neurohr said the tiny animal can only make out shadows at present.
He said it would take a while before the cub can fully take in its environment.
The cub, which is almost five weeks old, has progressed well since being separated from his mother, Vera, a week ago, after zoo officials feared she might harm her offspring.
"The condition of the little polar bear continues to remain stable," said the director of Nuremberg zoo, Dag Encke.
Zoo authorities are increasingly confident they will be able to raise the cub successfully, based on the experience gained by Berlin Zoo in rearing Knut, the star polar bear that recently turned 1.
An international competition is underway to find a name for the new cub, which has generated so much interest that the zoo's website has crashed repeatedly.
The same zoo came in for criticism last week when it allowed two other newly born cubs to die. They were apparently eaten by their mother, possibly after they had fallen ill.