WATCH: Six Russian bear cubs progress to open air enclosure

Now that the bear cubs have made the transition from bottle feeding to eating from a bowl and the temperatures are milder in Russia, they’re ready to move to a new phase of life in the open-air enclosure.

Before the move the bear cubs were bathed, which was much needed after the long arduous process of training them to eat porridge out of bowls.

They were large enough to sleep in the unheated hut, cuddling all together in a furry ball.

Mike, a month older than the rest, was 11.5 kg (the other cubs range from 6.3 kg to 7.4 kg). It’s a dramatic increase in weight compared to 0.5 kg at birth three months ago (four months ago for Mike).

When the bear cubs shed their soft baby fur for a shorter and harsher coat, their appearance may change so they’re microchipped to identify them later.

After the move, the bear cubs spent two days in the hut so they could get used to it and know where to hide in case of rain. On the morning of the third day, after meal time, the doors of the hut were opened to freedom.

Of course, the bear cubs didn’t dare leave the hut right away. Mike the courageous was the first to go out. Masha joined him and they strayed several meters from the door.

Then, Masha climbed a tree but didn’t know how to get back down.

Feeding  the bear cubs in the open air is not an easy task. Though the porridge comes out of one pot, it is always better in a neighbor’s bowl. To avoid quarrels and brawls, a special set of feeding stalls was constructed. It helps, but still the porridge in the middle bowl seems the best!

The five bear cubs in the enclosure were recently joined by a female bear cub, Tilda, after the necessary quarantine.

She settled down in the group very quickly, but hasn’t yet ventured out of the hut and for now eats separately indoors.

--MD

READ: Five orphan bear cubs progressing at rehabilitation centre

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