Noah's Ark Zoo Farm celebrates birth of rare Andean twin bear cubs

  • Footage shows the bear cubs cuddling with mum, Madidi.

Noah's Ark Zoo Farm is celebrating the birth of rare Andean twin bear cubs.

The Paddington-bear lookalikes are only the second set of Andean bear twins ever to be born in Britain.

The Bristol zoo has released CCTV footage from the near-dark cubbing den showing the tiny bear cubs being cuddled by their mother, Madidi.

The bear cubs were born on 11 January to first-time mum, Madidi. Cubs are born blind and helpless, weighing around 300 grams and roughly the size of a guinea pig.

The cubs have now both opened their eyes and have doubled in size over the past two months.

The cubs have more than doubled in size since they were born in January Credit: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

“We are thrilled by the birth of the bear cubs,” said lead keeper Jayne Gibbins

“We could hear the distinctive sound of the bear cubs trilling and chittering before we could see them. The cubs are born so tiny and as soon as they were born Madidi scooped them up in her arms.”

The keepers were able to monitor Madidi’s progress using the CCTV and maintain a hands-off approach, which is very important for these secretive bears.

Keepers did not enter the bear house for the first week after birth; to give them as much privacy as possible in those first critical days.

The development of the cubs will be monitored closed via CCTV over the coming months.

The adorable cubs are a significant birth for the European Endangered Species Program (EEP). In 2019, Madidi and Rasu were specially selected by the EEP to form a breeding pair.

The bears instantly connected and now their pairing has become a tale of success for the programme.

“These bear cubs are very special not only for all of us here at Noah’s Ark but because they are important additions to the international efforts working to preserve the species and helping protect the long-term future of Andean bears," said Chris Wilkinson, Curator of the zoo.

Keepers monitor the bears’ behaviour daily and became hopeful that Madidi may have been pregnant when she started choosing to spend more time apart from Rasu last October.

Madidi will bring the bears out slowly and let them to explore their enclosure as they grow Credit: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

Andean bears are largely solitary in the wild and the male has no participation in the rearing of the cubs.

The bears were separated and keepers gave Madidi access to the cubbing den where she began building herself a nest from recycled shredded paper.

Andean bears are also known as spectacled bears because of their distinctive facial markings which can often make them look like they're wearing glasses.

Despite the breed inspiring Paddington Bear from "darkest Peru", these two bear cubs won't be eating marmalade sandwiches anytime soon but they will be stick close to Madidi in the den.

People won't be able to see the cubs if they visit the zoo for a while, but Rasu can still be spotted within the main enclosure.

The Conservationists believe that there are less that 10,000 Andean bears in the wild.