The Phoenix Zoo's Andean bear Rio. By Andrew Michalscheck
PHOENIX -- The Phoenix Zoo’s 17-year-old Andean bear Rio is once again a new mom.
The Zoo announced this week that Rio gave birth to a cub earlier this month. Both Rio and the cub are doing well, and are being kept in an off-view maternity den for the time being.
Staff at the zoo has been able to monitor Rio and her cub through an audio baby monitor, but it may be weeks or even months before staff gets to see the cub.
Rio has previously given birth to three other cubs, but for unknown reasons they did not live to be more than seven days old.
Rio’s latest cub is a significant development for the Andean bear population. Rio and Billie Jean, a bear at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., are the only Andean bears in North American zoos that have reproduced in the past six years.
The Phoenix Zoo said that if all goes well Rio and her cub will be out on exhibit by the spring.