Alba, who used to live at the Salisbury Zoo before being given to the San Diego Zoo, last week gave birth to her first cub. (Photo courtesy: Salisbury Zoo)
SAN DIEGO– An Andean bear that used to live at the Salisbury Zoo has given birth to her first cub at her current home, the San Diego Zoo.
The cub was born on Wednesday, Jan. 8, to Alba, who was born four years ago at the Salisbury Zoo to parents Chaska and Gritto.
Salisbury Zoo officials said Salisbury has been successful in breeding since the early 1980’s. Alba was given to the San Diego Zoo to support its commitment to Andean bear conservation.
The Salisbury Zoo has been following Alba’s life at the San Diego Zoo over the past four years.
“Our zoo keepers are in frequent contact with San Diego Zoo’s Andean bear keepers and we are elated to hear the news about the birth,” said Salisbury Zoo Director Ralph Piland.
“We are overjoyed about the birth of Alba’s first cub,” said Chris Hamlin, animal care manager for the San Diego Zoo. “Alba is showing all the appropriate behaviors of a good mother, being very attentive to her newborn. We are so impressed with how well she is handling motherhood.”
In a statement, the San Diego Zoo said, “The mortality rate for Andean bear cubs in their first month is high so the animal care staff is cautiously optimistic for the cubs’ long-term survival. At just 7-days-old, the cub—whose sex is yet to be determined—appears to be thriving.”
Andean bears live in the Andes Mountains in South America. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature classifies Andean bears as a vulnerable species primarily because of habitat loss. Over recent years, the number of bears living in their native habitats has declined.