Rio, the Andean bear that gave birth (Source: Phoenix Zoo)
3-month-old cub takes his first steps (source: Phoenix Zoo)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A 3-month-old Andean bear cub has taken his first steps at the Phoeniz Zoo.
His mother, 17-year-old Rio, gave birth to the cub in early January. Recently, the cub had its first checkup and veterinarians determined it was a boy.
Zookeepers were able to capture the event on video when Rio let go of the cub, stepped away and allowed him to be briefly on his own.
This is the fourth cub for Rio, but for unknown reasons, all three in the past did not live more than seven days, the zoo said.
Rio and Billie Jean, an Andean bear at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., are the only Andean bears in North American zoos who have successfully reproduced since Billie Jean's birth six years ago. Billie Jean has had two sets of twins - one set in 2010 and another set born December 2012, just three weeks before Rio's cub was born.
Rio and her cub have been in a maternity den where the family can bond in a quieter environment.
Zoo staff has been monitoring them through an audio baby monitor.
This particular species has a high mortality rate, with first-year mortality at 41 percent for males and 44 percent for females.
The cub was sired by Rizarro, a 23-year-old Andean bear who came to the Phoenix Zoo in 2011 from the Pittsburg Zoo.
Andean bears are a small, arboreal, largely vegetarian bear from the Andes Mountains in South America. They are the only species of bear native to South America and are also called spectacled bears due to the white markings on their faces which make them look as if they are wearing glasses.
Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:38:42 GMT
Two teenagers accused of torturing a 16-year-old boy inside a shed were sentenced to prison Thursday. Jenna Montgomery and Jess Taylor both pleaded guilty to kidnapping, robbery and assault charges. MontgomeryMore >
Two teenagers accused of torturing a 16-year-old boy inside a shed were sentenced to prison Thursday.More >
Thursday, July 31 2014 1:47 AM EDT2014-07-31 05:47:50 GMT
It's been nearly a week since Jennifer Huston, 38, of Dundee vanished after running errands in Newberg Thursday evening, and ever since she disappeared the search for her has been growing.More >
It's been nearly a week since Jennifer Huston, 38, of Dundee vanished after running errands in Newberg Thursday evening, and ever since, the search for her has been growing to include more people and more methods of searching - including a drone.More >
Tuesday, July 29 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-07-29 22:53:48 GMT
Brace yourself, Seaside. It's about to get smelly. Millions of dead anchovies washed ashore along the Necanicum River in downtown Seaside on Monday. The anchovies entered the river en masse from theMore >
Seaside, you're about to get smelly. Thousands of dead anchovies washed ashore along the Necanicum River.More >
Thursday, July 31 2014 1:40 AM EDT2014-07-31 05:40:35 GMT
As the town of Dundee and countless different law enforcement agencies continue in their search for Jennifer Huston, a local PI is weighing in on the case with his own theories.More >
As the town of Dundee and countless different law enforcement agencies continue in their search for Jennifer Huston, a local PI is weighing in on the case with his own theories about what happened to the mother.More >