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Zoo officials respond after two-day-old polar bear cub dies at Detroit Zoo

Posted at 10:10 PM, Nov 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-30 22:10:45-05

The Detroit Zoo is mourning the loss of a two-day-old polar bear cub. 

Zoo officials say the cub was moved to intensive care when they realized she stopped nursing.

Teams tried doing everything to save the little cub, but she just couldn’t hang on.  Now, zoo officials have the difficult task of figuring out how she died.

"It’s been an important species for us, for our community," Scott Carter, the Chief life sciences officer at the Detroit Zoological society said. 

"Our community loves the zoo, and they feel it when these things happen," he said.

The polar bear cub was just two-days-old when she passed.  The cub's parents Suka and Nuka are favorites at the zoo.  

Now, officials are trying to figure out what went wrong, why did the cub stop nursing.

"We don’t know what was wrong with it.  A lot of effort went into trying to help it, giving it fluids, antibiotics," Carter said. 

The polar bear is considered a threatened endangered species, with only 43 living in zoos and aquariums across the U.S.  

The breeding program is so important at the Detroit Zoo, especially with polar bears. 

"The breeding of this small population is really important, and that’s why there was a great deal of excitement over the birth of our cub and a great deal of sadness over the loss,' Carter said.

Zoo officials say they tried everything to save the little cub.  Now, there are many questions about what happened and does more need to be done with baby animals

"We don’t know what the cub died of and it could be that we will learn something about polar bears as we do the necropsy or autopsy on the cub, so we can try to understand what happened," Carter said.

Zoo officials say they hope to find out soon what happened to this baby cub and why she died.