GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany – An 18-week-old polar bear poked her little black nose from her winter den for the first time in her young life to take a look around her enclosure at the ZOOM Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen zoo that she shares with her mother in Germany, according to the organization.
Lucky visitors to the zoo near Essen in northeastern Germany were treated to heart-warming scenes as Nanook – who takes her name from an Inuit legend meaning master of the bears – took her first tentative steps into the grassy compound and treated herself to a dip in the pool, all under the watchful eye of her mother Lara.
“In addition to all the joy of this offspring, we would also like to point out the importance of this animal for the protection of species,” said local Gelsenkirchen council official Ulrich Köllmann. “Polar Bears are among the most endangered species and, on average, only every second polar bear baby survives past the first year.”
Nanook the polar bear cub was born on Dec. 4, 2017, and belongs to one of the largest bear species in the world, with some specimens measuring up to 3 meters (9 feet, 10 inches).
In the wild, Polar bears are found across the Polar Basin, in territories like northern Russia, Canada, Alaska, Svalbard and Greenland.