Under the category of "all good things are worth the wait," Detroit Zoo visitors will have to wait until late winter or early spring for their first glimpse of the three orphaned grizzly cubs that arrived at the Detroit Zoo Dec. 2 from Alaska.
The zoo’s animal care staff has determined that Mike, Thor and Boo should stay denned up for the winter, just as they would in the wild. The cubs will remain in a private area at the zoo, at least until early March.
"The cubs are doing well and behaving in ways typical of wild grizzly bears at this time of year; that is, they just want to eat and sleep," said Scott Carter, Detroit Zoological Society Chief Life Sciences Officer.
The cubs are being fed an abundant high-protein diet of meat and fish. Their “den” consists of a quiet area with lots of straw bedding. Remote monitoring by animal care staff minimizes interruptions and allows the cubs to relax and rest, which is essential for hibernating bears.
The stereotypic sucking behavior two of the cubs displayed earlier this month – commonly seen in animals that have been prematurely weaned – appears to be lessening.
The 11-month-old grizzly cub brothers were orphaned in October when their mother was killed by a Wasilla resident. Alaska wildlife officials contacted the Detroit Zoo seeking a home for the trio after determining that the cubs would not survive the winter on their own.