Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., announced the birth of two Andean bear cubs born on Nov. 15.
The unnamed cubs were born to 3-year-old mother Brienne and 9-year-old father Quito at the National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZCBI)—the first Andean cub birth at the institute in eight years.
Andean bears are listed as a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species, with approximately 2,000 Andean bears believed to be left in the wild, specifically in South America.
“For a new couple like Brienne and Quito, it is great to see all of the management, science and time that we have put into this species culminate in such a great way,” Sara Colandrea, North American Andean bear studbook keeper and Species Survival Plan coordinator, said in a press release. “These cubs are extremely important to the SSP demographically and genetically since Quito’s genes are new to the North American population. We’re looking forward to watching Brienne navigate motherhood and, of course, all the cute antics we’re bound to see from little bear cubs!”
The cubs are currently with Brienne indoors and isolated from the public as the continue to grow and acclimate. However, visitors can watch the trio virtually through the zoo’s Andean Bear Cub Cam.
The cubs will likely make their public debut at the zoo in early spring 2023.
For more information, please visit nationalzoo.si.edu.