National Zoo's Andean Bear Cubs to Make Media Debut

WHAT:Twin Andean bear cubs, Curt and Nicole, will make their media debut in their yard with their mother Billie Jean; their public debut is Saturday, May 11


WHEN:Tuesday, May 7

10 a.m.—11:30 a.m.


WHO: Craig Saffoe, curator of Andean bears, Smithsonian's National Zoo

Karen Abbott, Andean bear keeper, Smithsonian's National Zoo


WHERE:Andean Bear exhibit (bottom of the Zoo between Amazonia and American Trail)

3001 Connecticut Avenue N.W.

Note: Park in Parking Lot D at the bottom of the Zoo


The twin Andean bear cubs born at the Smithsonian's National Zoo Dec. 14, 2012, will make their media debut in their yard Tuesday. Their public debut is Saturday, May 11, just in time for Mother's Day. The cubs' names, Curt and Nicole, were announced last week on the Zoo's Facebook page. Curt was named after the late Zoo Advisory Board member Curt Winsor. Nicole was named after the Zoo's male Andean bear, Nikki, who was euthanized last August after battling cancer. Nikki sired this litter of cubs and a litter of two cubs born at the Zoo in 2010. Keepers baby-proofed the exhibit for the cubs, as Andean bears are very adept climbers. The cubs are significant for the population of Andean bears under human care, which has experienced a breeding lull during the past six years. Only three surviving litters of cubs have been born in North American zoos since 2010.


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