Philadelphia Zoo welcomes first baby sloth bear in more than 20 years

Sloth bears at the Philadelphia Zoo
Photo credit Courtesy of Philadelphia Zoo
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A new resident is starting to get its bearings at the Philadelphia Zoo.

A sloth bear cub was born at the zoo on Dec. 11 — the first healthy sloth bear born at the Philadelphia Zoo since 1997.

This is the first successful birth for parents Kayla and Bhalu. The cub had a sibling, but it died shortly after birth. Last year, Kayla also gave birth to a cub, but it died shortly thereafter. 

The sloth bear population is considered vulnerable, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, as populations have continued to decline dramatically in recent decades due to habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict and poaching.

The cub will be revealed to the public in the spring, while mama bear Kayla tends to it over the next few months. The cub’s gender has not yet been determined.