Andean Bear Cubs Make Debut at National Zoo

Two Andean bear cubs made their public debut Saturday at the National Zoo.

The zoo says the 19-week-old male cubs have been acclimating to their yard and all the new sights and smells since early March. They've also been learning behaviors to help staff at the zoo evaluate their health.

The cubs were born at the zoo in November and were named Mayni and Muniri after a public vote. Mayni means ``unique'' and Muniri means ``loving.''

The zoo says the cubs are among just five surviving litters born in North American zoos in the past decade.

Andean bears live in the Andean region in South America and are considered a vulnerable species. The zoo says habitat destruction and wildlife tracking are their greatest threats.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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