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Critters

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AP
This handout photo provided by the Smithsonian's National Zoo, taken Jan. 8, shows the sloth bear as a newborn cub being cared for at the veterinary hospital at the zoo in Washington.

Baby sloth bear saved from cub-eating mother

WASHINGTON – Animal keepers at the National Zoo have saved a sloth bear cub after two others were eaten by the mother.

The three cubs were born in December to a mother named Khali. One was eaten within 20 minutes, and a second cub was eaten after seven days. The zoo says it’s not uncommon for carnivores to eat their young if they’re compromised somehow.

When the third cub was left alone, animal keepers decided to take the cub and rear her by hand.

The zoo said the surviving cub is now active and growing. Animal keepers are caring for her 24 hours a day as surrogate parents. They carry the cub in a sling and provide regular bottle feedings.

The zoo hopes to eventually reintroduce her to other sloth bears.

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