Polar bears are among the world’s largest land predators, but they don’t start life that way.
During late fall, pregnant female polar bears dig dens and give birth to one-pound cubs – usually two, but sometimes one or three.
Mother and cubs stay in the den until March. By the time they emerge, the cubs gain 20 to 30lbs by consuming their mother’s milk, which is around 31% milk fat (by comparison, human breast milk is about 5% fat). It takes several years to reach full size.
As adults, male and female polar bears exhibit sexual dimorphism, meaning there is a physical difference between the two sexes. In the case of polar bears, males grow to be about twice as big as females.
Here at the Polar Bear Habitat, we certainly see a big difference between Ganuk (male) and Taiga (female), twins who were born on this day 10 years ago at Zoo Sauvage de Saint-Félicien.
Now full-grown adults, Ganuk weighs about 1,100lbs (500kg)and Taiga weighs approximately 700lbs (300kg).