Zoo’s Sloth Bear Cub Makes Public Debut

Thursday, Jun 20, 2013  |  Updated 11:02 AM EDT
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Zoo’s Sloth Bear Cub Makes Public Debut

The National Zoo's sloth bear cub will make his public debut Thursday.

Hank was born back in December and got his name from fans on the zoo's Facebook page.

Thursday will be the first day the public will get to see Hank in person. The cub has spent the past six months bonding with his mother, Hana, in a den near the Asia Trail exhibit.

His name is a combination of Hana's name and Francois “Frank," his father's name. Hank is the first sloth bear born at the zoo in seven years.

“Sloth bears in general are full of personality, but watching Hank explore and play in his yard is especially endearing,” said animal keeper Mindy Babitz.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists sloth bears as vulnerable because populations in their native Bhutan, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka are decreasing due to loss of habitat and poaching.

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