Adorable polar bear cubs pampered by zoo staff after mum rejects them

Polar bear cubs were pampered by zoo staff after being rejected by their biological mother.

The seven-week-old animals now receive round the clock care from six zookepeers at a safari park in Gelendzhik, Russia, which includes manicures and massages as well as warm milk to boost their health.

Park employees were forced to step in when the cubs' mum, a seven-year-old polar bear, rejected them.

Yelena Milovidova, deputy director of the Gelendzhik Safari Park, said: "Sadly, Seryozhka the mother declined the den we made for her, and showed no signs of maternal instinct.

"We had to take the cubs away, and six of us including myself acted as mothers to the newborns, keeping a non-stop eye to make sure they were warm and had enough milk."

Seryozhka the mother refused to give milk to the babies herself, but zoo staff were able to get blood from her to give to the youngsters to help boost their immunity.

Yelena added that this is the first recorded example of nurturing polar bear cubs rejected by their mum in a Russian zoo.

She said: "They know the scent of our skin and clothes, and sensing any of us getting close to them means just one thing: mother is here, and food is coming.

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"This is the first experience for us. In the world there were only five or so cases of polar bear cubs raised since birth in captivity. I do hope that we will succeed.

"This is a unique experience for us, and incredibly precious experience for the rest of the world because in all there were less than 20 cubs raised in captivity without mother's help during the last 50 years.

"This statistics is incomparable to any other wild animal like elephants or orangutan. To nurture a polar bear cub is a task next to impossible."

The young animals recently opened their eyes for the first time and staff hope to start giving them outdoor walks when they reach three months old.

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