Bear cubs venture out of their den for the first time at Woburn Safari Park

The cubs have been spotted out of the den for the first time since their birth

Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 10:37 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 10:40 am

Two adorable North American black bear cubs have taken the first steps out of their den at Woburn Safari Park since their birth, accompanied by their mum, Phoenix.

The cubs are the first to be born at the Park since the last surprise trio arrived in 2016.

Keepers knew they were about to welcome at least one cub as they had heard calls to mum coming from inside a large tree but they were delighted to see the duo appear when Phoenix led them out into the enclosure this week.

Bear cubs venture out of their den for the first time at Woburn Safari Park (C) Woburn Safari Park

Phoenix had made them comfortable inside the hollow centre of the tree until they were strong enough to climb out.

Once out, keepers made sure mum and cubs were comfortably settled into an alternative ground-level den, in an enclosed half-acre pen so that they can spend some quiet bonding time away from the other bears.

They are currently checked and fed by keepers three times a day and in the past week they have been seen trying some of Phoenix's feed for the first time, which has shown that they both have a liking for apples!

Craig Lancaster, Head of Carnivores at Woburn Safari Park said: "After hearing cries coming from the tree we were sure that we had at least one cub so we were thrilled to discover that there were two!

Bear cubs venture out of their den for the first time at Woburn Safari Park (C) Woburn Safari Park

"The new arrivals are developing well and have been behaving like typical young babies - sleeping for long periods of time, playing together and suckling."

The currently unsexed pair will continue suckling from Phoenix until they are around eight months old, when they will be fully weaned.

They will remain in the pen with mum until they are big enough to meet the other residents of their parkland home including dad Xanthos.

The North American black bears living at Woburn have a 13 acre reserve, which they share with the Canadian Timber wolves. This is one of the only mixed carnivore enclosures in the UK.

In addition to the two cubs, Woburn has five bears, three females and two males. All the bears live outside 365 days a year and hibernate through the cold months of winter.

For more information about Woburn Safari Park and the animals, visit: www.woburnsafari.co.uk.