Ohio zoo optimistic on survival of 2 newborn polar bear cubs

POWELL, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio zoo says two polar bear cubs born this week appear to be strong, and officials are optimistic about their survival.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium says the cubs were born Tuesday to 9-year-old Anana, a first-time mother who’s caring for them.

Polar bear cubs have about a 50 percent survival rate in the first weeks after birth, so the staff is monitoring them through a camera in the private den. Zoo president Tom Stalf says staff are prepared to step in to provide care if needed.

Anana’s sister, Aurora, has had two litters, and the only surviving cub was hand-reared after Aurora started leaving her unattended. That cub, Nora, was recently moved to the Oregon Zoo.

The father to all the cubs is a 28-year-old bear named Nanuq.