Thursday, December 19, 2013

Double Trouble Birthday Bash


Posted by: Kirsten Pisto, Communications

Happy Birthday, Randhir and Kushali! Our twin sloth bear cubs, born a year ago December 18th, celebrated their 1st birthday with shiny piñatas!

Sloth bear cubs reach for their birthday piñatas! Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.



Sloth bear birthday enrichment! Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.
Keepers filled three piñatas (including one for the cubs’ mom, Tasha) with meal worms and dried tropical fruits such as papayas and mangos. The piñatas were hung from the logs in the sloth bear exhibit just high enough that the bears had to resort to some pretty acrobatic moves to reach them. There was a lot of excitement, including a boxing match between one cub and a stubborn green piñata. After the cubs and mom knocked their piñatas to the ground, they were quick to tear open their presents and snuffle up their birthday treats!  
Staring longingly at a piñata is not always a bad tactic. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.


Sloth bears are very agile, built for reaching high into logs and fruit trees piñatas. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.


Standing on two legs is not a problem for an energetic sloth bear cub, especially when birthday treats are involved. Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.



Just one more little tug… Photo by Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo.

Success! A face-full of birthday fancy. Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.
The rambunctious 1-year-olds have made quite the pair since debuting last spring in the Bamboo Forest Reserve exhibit. We’ve watched these two grow from tiny little squeals (literally, keepers could only hear them at first—it was a few weeks before we had visual confirmation of the twins) to the rough and tumble cublets they are today.

Photo by Ryan Hawk/ Woodland Park Zoo.
Tasha certainly deserves a round of applause for not only being a wonderfully attentive mother, but for literally hauling these two around on her back. Turning one is a big deal for these growing bears, who appear to have mastered the piñata shuffle quite well.

Take a look at our favorite moments from their first year, which forever etched these puffballs into our hearts…

In January, 2013 we were happily surprised to find out, “It’s Twins!”
The cubs emerged from the den in April.
They showed us how to properly explore theirexhibit during spring.
And they spent the summer navigating logs and practicing their incredible climbing skills.

Happy 1st Birthday, Randhir and Kushali! 

Remember when the cubs were this tiny? Photo by Dennis Dow/Woodland Park Zoo.

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