This update was written by animal keeper Sara Colandrea.

At six-week-old, the cubs’ eyes have opened, and their favorite spot continues to be curled up with mother Brienne. She’s becoming more confident as a mom. She’s been leaving the cubs for short periods to eat and defecate.

Brienne’s appetite has increased, a good sign the cubs are nursing well, as she needs more energy. She also started venturing out of the den with a cub in tow!

On Dec. 29, keepers witnessed Brienne carrying one of the cubs out of the den and into the larger indoor space.

Like cats, bears carry their young by the nape of the neck, often called “scruffing”. However, carrying young takes practice. We have seen new mothers carry cubs by the mid-section and walk around with a cub’s whole head in her mouth and by the ear! Don’t worry – these cubs are built tough, and no one is injured during this learning curve.

For me, what’s most amazing to observe is how Brienne knows how to care for her cubs as a first-time mom. She had knowledge of cub rearing from when her mom reared her. It’s truly phenomenal.  

Tune in to the Andean Bear Cub Cam to hear and catch quick glimpses of the cubs. Stay tuned for more of our favorite cam moments, and look for another keeper update soon! 

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