This Video of a Baby Polar Bear Dreaming is the Cutest Thing You'll See Today
If you’ve ever wondered what a baby polar bear looks like while it's dreaming, you’re in luck: Earlier this month, the Columbus Zoo released a video of a 5-week-old cub, its eyes just starting to open, taking an adorable snooze.
Those noises you hear coming from the 4-pound, 16-inch-long cub in the video above are sounds of contentment, according to its caretakers. (According to Slate, the copious amount of background noise is due to the zoo “[cranking] up the microphone to catch the cub’s tiniest squees.”)
The cub is one of two born to Aurora, one of the zoo’s three polar bears, on November 6. The other cub didn't make it, and though Aurora was initially caring for this newborn, less than a week later, she began taking breaks from being a mom, forcing the zoo’s staff to pull the cub from the den to hand-rear it in order to maximize its chances of survival.
Polar bears have a very low reproductive rate, and whether in the wild or in the care of vets, the survival rate of newborn polar bear cubs—which weigh around a pound at birth—is just 50 percent. This little baby is tiny now, but if she survives to adulthood, she'll be between seven and eight feet long and weigh as much as 1600 pounds.
Scientists estimate that there are 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears in the wild; habitat loss caused by global warming could cut that number by two-thirds by 2050. The animals are classified as vulnerable under the Endangered Species Act of 2008.