Sloth bear cub born at Philadelphia Zoo does not survive

John McDevitt
January 17, 2019 - 11:36 am
Kayla, a 6-year-old sloth bear. Last month, Kayla was showing signs that she may be pregnant.

Courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo


PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A bear cub born at the Philadelphia Zoo this week did not survive.

Last month, Kayla, a 6-year-old sloth bear, was showing signs that she may be pregnant.

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Andy Baker, with the zoo, said keepers were able to get the bear moved into position for tests by using honey sugar water.

"Kayla, standing up with her belly presented to the mesh, our vet staff was able to perform ultra sounds," he said. "And in December we were able to confirm there was at least one baby."

Baker says the cub was born earlier in the week and survived for only a few hours.

He says Kayla is doing well and will be given the choice to join her mate Balau in their enclosure in a couple of days.

"We look forward to future breeding seasons, where we will hope for a successful birth and rearing," he said.

Sloth bears are native to Southern Asia and Sri Lanka, and the species is considered vulnerable to extinction in the wild due to habitat loss.