Florida zoo celebrates 1st sloth bear cubs in nearly three decades

Zoo Miami welcomed the births of sloth bear cubs in nearly 30 years. (Credit: Ron Magill/Zoo Miami)

A zoo in Florida is welcoming the births of two sloth bear cubs in nearly three decades.

Zoo Miami said on December 5, a 4-year-old sloth bear named Kematee gave birth to a single cub. Then a few hours later, she gave birth to a second cub. 

They are the first cubs of this kind to be born at the zoo since 1998.  They were determined to both be females and in good health, weighing between two and three pounds each.

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Zoo officials said these are also the first cubs for Kematee who came to Zoo Miami in 2021 from the Philadelphia Zoo where she was born. 

The cubs' father, named Hank, came to Zoo Miami in 2016  from the National Zoo in Washington D.C., where he was born.

The zoo said the mother and cubs will remain away from the public to ensure they are able to bond with minimal disruptions or distractions. 

They hope to have the family at public viewing in several weeks. 

"Sloth bears are considered a vulnerable species that is threatened by poaching and habitat destruction," the zoo said in a Facebook post. "They are solitary and found in moist and dry forests of the Indian subcontinent where they feed primarily on fruit and insects – especially termites."

This story was reported from Los Angeles.