Public help sought in naming Toledo Zoo's polar bear cubs

4/22/2013
BLADE STAFF
The polar bear cubs, born in November will make their first public appearance in early May.
The polar bear cubs, born in November will make their first public appearance in early May.

One of the cubs plays with its lunch.
One of the cubs plays with its lunch.

The Toledo Zoo’s two new polar bear cubs spent today frolicking in their pool, as their mama bear kept a watchful eye.

The cubs, which were born on Nov. 21, will make their first public appearance in early May, Andi Norman, a zoo spokesman said. Local media were invited to sneak a peek at the young cubs and their mother Crystal earlier today.

Dr. Randi Meyerson, assistant director of animal programs, said no date has yet been set for the cub’s public debut because zoo officials want to make sure Crystal and her cubs have time to bond privately. Zoo employees are also keeping their distance, she said.

“We let the bears determine when we can approach,” Ms. Meyerson said. “We try not to stress mom. If nothing’s going wrong, we leave them alone.”

One reason why the bears have been kept in isolation is so the cubs “learn how to be polar bears,” Ms. Meyerson said.

The cubs – one male, the other a female – have not yet been named. A contest is being held to allow the public to help select names. The Blade is one of the contest’s media sponsors.

“Name the Toledo Zoo Polar Bear Cubs” entries must be received by the zoo by noon May 1. For directions on how to vote, visit the zoo’s Web site at http://www.toledozoo.org.