Polar bear cub dies at Sea World

Mum, Liya, still caring for other cub

9 May 2017

Article heading image for Polar bear cub dies at Sea World

Sad news out of Sea World, after one of the two polar bear cubs born just two weeks ago, passed away over the weekend.

The little girl was the runt of the two, and mum Liya abandoned it on Saturday, in favour of the stronger cub.

Sea World director of marine sciences Trevor Long said while it's sad, it's not unusual.

"That's disappointing but it is also the way animals and large carnivores get the best genetics back in to deal with all the issues they've got to deal with in the wild," he said.

"In her mind, this is her best opportunity to ensure that she gets one cub to survive".

Staff got the cub out of the den through a specially trap door and placed her in a humidity crib on Saturday morning.

She was fed and cared for by vets for 12 hours but was weak and well under her birth weight at just 478g.

She died later that night.

Liya had twins in 2013 and again abandoned one cub after just 12 hours, this time it was nine days after their birth.

Mr Long said they're optimistic that next time she becomes pregnant, she might be able to raise two cubs.

On a happier note, he said the other cub, who's sex isn't known, is thriving.

"Liya is extremely attentive to the other, stronger cub and it's progressing well at this point in time and we don't envisage there being any problems," said Mr Long.

Listen Live!