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Two Orphaned Bear Cubs Make Friends at Detroit Zoo

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: September 25, 2021 12:59 am

Baby Bears Make Friends at Detroit Zoo

Polar bear Laerke and Grizzly bear, Jebbie play together in their habitat at Detroit Zoo

Photo Credit: Detroit Zoo

Detroit Zoo has offered a home to an orphaned grizzly bear cub found alone in Tok, Alaska. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) received reports of a grizzly bear cub wandering alone near a neighborhood in June. Named Jebbie the cub was moved to Alaska Zoo to receive immediate care and a health assessment.

Jebbie was named by the residents who found the cub and notified the ADF&G. After arriving at Detroit Zoo the cub underwent a period of quarantine and has since moved to their Arctic Ring of Life polar bear building.

The Detroit Zoo was already home to Laerke, a polar bear cub being hand-reared at the zoo after he was observed to be weak and stopped moving soon after birth.

Baby Bears Make Friends at Detroit Zoo

Polar bear Laerke and Grizzly bear, Jebbie play together in their habitat at Detroit Zoo

Photo Credit: Detroit Zoo

Laerke and sibling Astra were born at Detroit Zoo in November 2021. After keepers noticed that Laerke was weak he was brought to the Ruth Roby Glancy Animal Health Complex to receive around-the-clock emergency care.

Astra continued to be raised by her mother Suka.

“There are no other polar bear cubs who we can bring here to live with her, so we reached out to state agencies that frequently must find homes for orphaned grizzly bear cubs. We’re thrilled that we are able to give Jebbie sanctuary and provide a much-needed companion for Laerke,” said Scott Carter, chief life sciences officer for the DZS. “This social development is critically important for both Laerke and Jebbie.”

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Unfortunately for Laerke it was clear that his mother would not accept him again as Carter explained, “Suka is a great mother and very protective of Laerke’s sister, Astra, but it’s clear that she no longer recognizes Laerke as her cub. Returning Laerke to her mother and sister is not an option for us.”

Starting September 13th visitors at Detroit Zoo will be able to see Laerke and Jebbie at the zoo's Arctic Ring of Life habitat.

Among the largest polar bear habitats in the world the state-of-the-art Arctic Ring of Life habitat includes 4 acres of outdoor and indoor habitats including large freshwater and saltwater pools.

Baby Bears Make Friends at Detroit Zoo

Polar bear Laerke and Grizzly bear, Jebbie play together in their habitat at Detroit Zoo

Photo Credit: Detroit Zoo

Learn more about polar bears here – Polar Bear Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about brown bears here – Brown Bear Fact File | The Animal Facts

Learn more about the Detroit Zoo on their website – Detroit Zoo

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