In March 2022, the Toledo Zoo announced the addition of Nuka after the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s Species Survival Program (SSP) issued a breeding recommendation for Crystal in hopes of mating to sustain this endangered species.
“We’re very happy to welcome these two new cubs and boost the long-term sustainability of the species,” said Michael Frushour, curator of mammals for the Toledo Zoo.
Crystal’s eighth and ninth cubs were born on November 11, 2022, each weighing approximately two pounds. Their genders are unknown at this time and will be determined at their first neonatal
exam, which will take place in February.
Crystal and the cubs are currently in the birthing den, which provides a quiet, safe place for a mother to give birth and raise cubs. In the wild, this would be in a snow bank or side of a hill. Keepers and vet staff monitor the cubs via a camera that also picks up audio. Sometimes the cubs are not visible due to positioning, but they can still be heard nursing.
Male polar bears do not participate in the rearing of young; therefore, Nuka remains on exhibit daily. Crystal and the cubs are estimated to make their public exhibit debut in the spring of 2023.
In the meantime, you can watch a live feed on the Toledo Zoo’s YouTube channel of Crystal and the cubs. Live feed viewing is available daily from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. The camera will be off after 4 p.m., but viewers can still hear the Polar bears through the microphone.
“We’re proud to be able to give the community a sneak peek at the cubs in real-time before they’re on exhibit. You won’t want to miss seeing the cubs in person this spring, so we strongly encourage the purchase or renewal of a zoo membership to make the most out of your visits,” said Frushour.
See the bears in their Nursing Den online at at https://youtu.be/kBLzb1MCJRs