The Toronto Zoo has announced that a male polar bear cub, born on Nov. 9, 2013, has taken its first steps, can stand on all four legs and weighs approximately 4.4 kg — more than six times his original birth weight of 700 grams.
He is beginning to teethe — he "likes to bite objects such as his blanket" reports the zoo — is growing whiskers and has had his eyes open for 35 days.
The cub's progress is especially good news after his two siblings died after birth. Three other polar bear cubs also died at the Toronto Zoo in December 2012. Another polar bear cub, Hudson, was moved to Winnipeg after his mother rejected him.
"Our Wildlife Care Team has been working around the clock to look after this special cub. We are very happy with his progress so far. We hope that he will grow up to become another ambassador for his species, highlighting threats to the arctic environment," says Dr. Graham Crawshaw, a veterinarian at the zoo.
Polar bears are considered species of special concern under Canada's Species at Risk Act.