Un-Bear-ably Cute Orphaned Polar Bear Cub
Siku is just 5 weeks old and already has over a million YouTube fans ! The little bundle of fluff was rescued by his main caretaker, Frank Vigh-Larsen. With Siku’s mom Ilka unable to nourish him, it is left to Vigh-Larsen and other handlers at Scandinavian Wildlife Park in Denmark to ensure Siku’s survival in his first weeks of life. Siku made his TV debut with an interview on the Today Show.
“Unfortunately, his mother had no milk, so we were left with two options — we could either leave him to die from starvation, or we could bottle rear him and turn him into an ambassador for his wild cousins living in the Arctic,” Vigh-Larsen told Lauer and Guthrie.
So far, the results of Siku’s bottle-feeding and human nurturing have been encouraging. He’s more than doubled his weight, from 3 to 7 pounds, since his birth – though he has a long way to go to reach his full half-ton adult weight. And he was afforded his first view of the world when he opened his eyes for the first time shortly before Christmas !
The folks at Scandinavian Wildlife Park are delighted Siku’s taped antics have gone viral — it means he’s already doing his job of drawing attention to the plight of the diminishing polar bear population in the wild .But taking care of this little snow ball is a round the clock job !
“It takes a lot of patience, it takes away your sleep, but it gives back a fantastic opportunity to see this little thing grow up,” Vigh-Larsen said live from Kolind, Denmark.
As for the future, little Siku will remain at the wildlife park at serve as and take part in an international breeding program, as well as a poster bear for his kind. An estimated 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears live in the wild across Alaska, Greenland, Russia, Canada and Norway, but the melting polar ice caps have severely cut into their traditional hunting grounds.
“His name Siku means sea ice (in Inuit), and that’s very symbolic, because the sea ice is melting and that’s threatening the very existence, the survival of the polar bears,” Vigh-Larsen said.
And for those have fallen in love with Siku’s antics as displayed on YouTube, Vigh-Larsen said he had a special holiday wish on behalf of Siku.
“Siku would like you all to reduce your carbon footprint and save energy. And if you all do that, he would be very, very happy.”