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Long live cuscus bears: streak of rare marsupial births continues in Wrocław

The zoo in Wrocław, south-west Poland, did it again as yet another Sulawesi bear cuscus was successfully born thanks to the breeding expertise of the facility’s personnel.

This is the fourth time that the Sulawesi bear cuscus, considered to be one of the rarest, most endangered and most enigmatic species on planet Earth, came into the world in the Wrocław Zoo. In fact, the Wrocław Zoo was the first place worldwide where such an animal was born in captivity. It took place in 2018.

Now the zoo personnel have proved that the rebreeding of the species in captivity and thus saving it from extinction is possible.

“This is an exhilarating feeling to contribute in the rebreeding of such a species and in its protection,” Radosław Ratajszczak, the zoo’s director was quoted as saying in a communique.

He added that the zoo’s staff has been “watching cuscus bears from day one” and they “re noting literally everything, namely, individual behaviour, interactions, modes of movement and nutrition.”

“We even analyse their faeces. We try to give them as much peace and leeway as possible, that is why they live in the back rooms where only specified employees can contact them. I believe all of this underlays our success,” Mr Ratajszczak said.

The baby cuscus’ presence was confirmed in the mother’s poach in July 2020. “In September, we spotted the baby bear looking outside. It mustered the courage to explore in late December,” he explained.

“Currently, employees are observing how it moves from branch to branch trying out to snatch food from its mother. Notwithstanding, he does not leave her side and in times of hesitance, jumps right back into the pouch. So far the baby cuscus’ diet has consisted mainly of the mother’s milk, albeit it has already given ‘adult’ snacks, namely leaves, a try. We also suspect that the newly born is a male,” Andrzej Miozga, the head of the department of small mammals at the zoo said.

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