New mom Billie Jean is bearing up

(Photo by Karen Abbott)

The keepers got their first good look at one of Billie Jean’s cubs! She brought the cub out into the main den. It’s natural for her to carry the cubs this way; it’s no different from a cat carrying her kittens by the scruff of the neck.

We don’t know why she might temporarily take a cub out of the nest and into the main den. There’s nothing in the main den (no additional bedding) that might tempt her there, but we’re allowing Billie Jean to be in charge of mothering her cubs, and she’s doing an excellent job. This is the first time she has transported a cub while a keeper was there.

Like you, we’re continuing to watch the cams! Footage like this isn’t just cute and entertaining, it’s also scientifically ground-breaking. As far as we know, no human has had the chance to watch Andean bear cubs the way we’re watching these. We’re also going back to review Billie Jean’s behavior pre-birth to get a fuller understanding of her maternal behavior.

Watch the live webcam and get more updates and Billie Jean and her cubs.

Posted: 23 January 2013
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