Bahia the Andean bear sadly loses twin cubs

We are sad to announce that Bahia, our female Andean bear, recently gave birth to two stillborn cubs. The cubs were born on 4th and 5th February 2018 – post-mortem examinations and observations indicated that both were dead on delivery. While keepers had seen mating between Bahia and the male Quechua (both 7 years old) last year, she had not shown any prolonged nesting behavior or other typical signs to indicate she was pregnant, so the births were largely unexpected. Furthermore, Bahia is still suckling her two-year-old infant Raymi, which usually suppresses oestrus in mammals.

Bahia's keepers were saddened by her loss, but have been closely monitoring her health and well-being over the past two weeks, and all signs show that she has recovered well.

Jersey Zoo’s Head of Mammals, Dominic Wormell commented: “This was obviously a sad event, but these incidents do occur in zoos, as they do in the wild. Along with matings and births, deaths (including unfortunately stillbirths) are all a normal part of looking after animals. Staff are never immune to the effects of such events and we are pleased Bahia appears to have suffered no ill effects and look forward to introducing her to her new enclosure.”

Durrell has been working with Andean bears for 55 years– the species is officially listed as ‘vulnerable’ to becoming extinct in the wild. Our zoo continues to pioneer new animal husbandry techniques and currently a new enclosure is under construction which will allow the bears to be managed separately, only bringing the male and female together to breed, which mimics their behavior in the wild.