Watch out, Xiao Qi Ji: There are two new baby bears in town. The National Zoo celebrated the birth of two Andean bear cubs on November 15, the zoo announced today. It is the first time in eight years an Andean bear has been born at the zoo.
Animal care staff is monitoring the cubs and mom Brienne on the Andean Bear Cub Cam, where you can watch the bears, too. The youngsters will stay in the den with their mom until a public debut this spring. According to the zoo’s birth announcement, Brienne is grooming her cubs and supporting them to nurse. Both cubs are already vocal.
Andean bears are on the International Union for Conversation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, with an estimated 2,000 bears left in the wild. They are also known as the spectacled bear, thanks to the the white markings around their eyes. (Famous cartoon Paddington Bear is canonically an Andean bear.)
The unnamed cubs will join three other Andean bears at the zoo: mom Brienne, dad Quito, and female Billie Jean. Our new baby bears join a cohort of animals born at the zoo this year, including cheetah cubs, golden-headed lion tamarins, and a porcupette.