Sleeping polar bear cub captures hearts: ‘My heart just melted’

Posted at 12:22 PM, Dec 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-13 12:22:47-05

A sleepy polar bear cub and her stuffed moose pal are making observers at Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio say “Awww.”

The zoo posted a video update Friday to its Facebook page featuring the 5-week-old cub, who can’t completely open her eyes yet but has hearts aflutter with her sleepy purring and lolling tongue.

“The care staff says the sound that she makes in the video is of contentment,” the zoo’s Facebook post says.

The video is providing viewers several moments of contentment too, as they take in the mega-cuteness of the cub cuddling with a stuffed animal and snoozing.

“Sleeping babies (human or polar bear) are always so mesmerizing. My heart just melted into a puddle,” wrote one viewer on Facebook.

“Omg. Love the bear ‘cooing’ noises. Love that rolly polly belly,” wrote another.

The cub, who weighs 4 pounds and is 16 inches long, is doing well, zoo officials say. “Her motor skills are improving each day and she has started trying to stand up on all fours, especially when she’s ready for her next meal!”

The cub was born to Aurora, one of three adult polar bears living at the zoo, on November 6. A second cub delivered by Aurora did not survive.

The surviving cub was pulled from her mother’s den a week after birth because Aurora began only sporadically caring for the newborn.

Zoo staff have been monitoring the cub’s progress around the clock, as polar bear cubs are delicate and many don’t survive the first few weeks.

“Polar bears, much like giant pandas, are highly specialized animals that give birth to very small babies which makes them fragile during their first year of life,” Jennifer Wilson, the zoo’s director of communications, said in a press release. “Survival rates in human care are around 50% which is similar to that of wild bears.”