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Interesting Facts and Fabulous Photos of Polar Bear Cubs that will Make your Day

A polar bear cub is born in January after approximately eight months of gestation. Mating happens in June, but fetal development occurs mainly in the last two months after the fertilized egg implants in the uterus in November (delayed implantation). During winter, a bear’s fetus must be stored in fat so that she can survive and provide milk for her cubs until spring (nature’s method of birth control). When the cubs are born, they weigh less than a pound, have only a light covering of fur, and barely crawl. Mother animals eat their birth membranes and lick their cubs, warm them against their thinly furred belly, and lick the cubs after they are born. Since mother bears are typically awake during the day because they are caring for their babies, they usually lose a third of their body weight over winter, while non-nursing bears lose only 15 to 25 percent.

Polar bear cubs are born small and helpless, with closed eyes. Cubs have fabulous fur at birth, which makes them appear hairless. Better developed cubs can climb trees, but they cannot outrun wolves or other bears. Depending on how much milk their mother produced and how many littermates they shared it with, the cubs weigh 4 to 6 pounds when they leave the den at 2 to 3 months of age. The mothers protect, warm, and nurse their young, sometimes cradling them in their forelegs as they lick their heads and nurse them. When the cubs cry, the mothers rush to comfort them. Mothers will sometimes carry cubs in their mouths to new locations or hold crying cubs in their mouths to help them down from trees if needed.

The cubs taste what their mothers consume during the first month after emerging from their dens. However, they do not eat solid food until their chewing teeth erupt later in the spring. They continue sucking until the fall, when they hibernate in the fall. Father polar bears don’t help raise the cubs, and if they did, they would probably be more competitive than helpful. Mothers build most of the dens during fall, but the cubs help rake leaves and twigs for bedding. The mother sleeps closest to the door to provide warmth and protection.

Mothers lead and protect their cubs until June, when they are about 17 months old, when they are ready to mate again. She then becomes intolerant and chases away her yearlings. After several years, perhaps indefinitely, she allows them to stay in parts of her territory, which she avoids. To protect herself and her offspring, she ejects trespassing bears. Until they reach maturity, female offspring use even more significant portions of their mother’s territory. Meanwhile, the mother expands her territory to include those areas adjacent to her if available or tolerates overlap with her daughters if those areas are not readily available. During their development, young males leave their mothers’ territories and travel up to 137 miles or more before settling down and establishing breeding ranges.

Here are some adorable photos of polar bear cubs and their mothers that will make your day.

#1 This baby polar bear saw snow for the first time

This baby polar bear saw snow for the first time

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#2 Getting warm

Getting warm

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#3 Baby polar bear clings to mom after seeing snow for the first time

Baby polar bear clings to mom after seeing snow for the first time

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#4 Polar bear kissing mom

Polar bear kissing mom

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#5 Hide and seek

Hide and seek

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#6 I love you, mum

I love you, mum

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#7 Yoga practice

Yoga practice

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#8 Polar bear gerda playing with cub

Polar bear gerda playing with cub

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#9 Mother’s love

Mother's love

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#10 Water ballet

Water ballet

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#11 Goodnight, polar bears

Goodnight, polar bears

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#12 Polar bear butt

Polar bear butt

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#13 Angry polar bear cub

Angry polar bear cub

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#14 Kissie-kissie

Kissie-kissie

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#15 Give me a hug

Give me a hug

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#16 Hi there, human

Hi there, human

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#17 Tight hug

Tight hug

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#18 A curious baby polar bear just sat down in front of me and we looked eye to eye

A curious baby polar bear just sat down in front of me and we looked eye to eye

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#19 Mom, put me down!

Mom, put me down!

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#20 Catch me!

Catch me!

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#21 Eye contact

Eye contact

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#22 Polar bear cubs

Polar bear cubs

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#23 Waving polar bear

Waving polar bear

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#24 Polar bear cubs in the middle of a chase

Polar bear cubs in the middle of a chase

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#25 Arctic hi five

Arctic hi five

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#26 Polar bear cub siku playing

Polar bear cub siku playing

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#27 Cute polar bear cub

Cute polar bear cub

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#28 Mother polar bear helping her cub to climb

Mother polar bear helping her cub to climb

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#29 Baby polar bear just want to say hi

Baby polar bear just want to say hi

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#30 Let us …. Eat lettuce!

Let us .... Eat lettuce!

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#31 Hip-hop among snowflakes

Hip-hop among snowflakes

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#32 Baby polar bear sleeping with a stuffed animal

Baby polar bear sleeping with a stuffed animal

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#33 Bearing it all…

Bearing it all...

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#34 Aerobics

Aerobics

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#35 Polar bear cubs dancing

Polar bear cubs dancing

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#36 Polar bear ninja

Polar bear ninja

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#37 This is love

This is love

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#38 Baby polar bear playing

Baby polar bear playing

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#39 On the move

On the move

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#40 Vienna’s polar bear cubs wrestle

Vienna's polar bear cubs wrestle

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#41 Sweet couple

Sweet couple

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#42 Hello there

Hello there

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#43 Baby polar bear playing with his leg

Baby polar bear playing with his leg

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#44 Underwater

Underwater

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#45 A shower for a daughter

A shower for a daughter

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#46 Polar bear gerda with her cub

Polar bear gerda with her cub

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#47 Polar bear cub playing with rope

Polar bear cub playing with rope

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#48 Underwater

Underwater

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#49 Enjoying the sun

Enjoying the sun

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#50 Just chilling with my siblings

Just chilling with my siblings

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Written by Maverick King

Born and raised in Luxembourg, marketing expert. I compose interesting stories, lists. Love to play ping-pong, Grey’s, Anatomy tv series.

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