Rare Andean bear cub twins born at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm revealed to be boy and girl

  • Watch the antics of the two adorable bear cubs with their mum Madidi

Twin Andean bear cubs born at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm in Wraxall in January have been identified as male and female.

The pair have had their first vet health check-up, which was the first time that staff could find out what sex they are.

The cubs have spent their first few months in the cubbing den with their mother, Madidi.  This is fitted with infrared CCTV and microphones.

It meant the keepers were able to monitor their progress but the technology did not allow them to get a close enough look to find out if they were boys or girls.

When they were born they weighed around 300g, but they are growing fast.

Initially, Madidi rarely left the babies, except to feed but staff observed her leaving them for longer periods and eventually they were able to schedule that crucial first visit from the vet.

Both cubs were given a visual check-over, were microchipped, weighed and the team were able to identify their gender - male and female.

  • Watch the cubs' dad reveal the gender of his baby in style

The zoo decided to hold a 'gender reveal ceremony' for their charges - and called on the cubs' dad Rasu to do the honours.

All it took was a tall pole with a receptacle full of treats and pink and blue confetti and the deed was done in style.

The male cub is 5.5kg and the female is 5kg. 

Male bears grow up to 30% larger than the females, reaching 6ft in height and approximately 150kg in weight compared to 80kg for females.

Lead keeper Jayne said, “It is wonderful to watch the development of the cubs. They have grown so much.

"It’s really interesting to see the differences in the personalities with the female cub being much more vocal and inquisitive than her brother”.

The female cub gets to grip with a climbing frame made of recycled firefighters' hoses. Credit: Noah's Ark Zoo Farm

The distinctive facial markings that give them the name 'Spectacled bears' can clearly be seen. The species is native to South America and was the inspiration for Paddington Bear himself.

Sadly it is classed as vulnerable to extinction - now there are fewer than 10,000 in the wild. The twin cubs are a success story - Madidi and Rasu were brought together in 2019 as part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme and the youngsters' arrival helps ensure the future of the species.