Video: Polar bear whose mother was shot dead is nursed back to health
A polar bear cub orphaned after its mother was shot dead has been pictured playing in its temporary home at Alaska Zoo.
Cuddly new resident Kali (pronounced "Cully") from Point Lay has been at the zoo for a week and is already adjusting to life in captivity.
Alaska Zoo Curator, Shannon Jensen, told KTVA: "Since I've been here 18 years this is the first one that really latches on and sucks on a bottle.
"We've tried in the past to have bears put on bottles and this is the first one that ever really has. He's eating every feed on a big bottle. It's a big bear appetite."
The Daily Mail reports that the four-month-old cub is being held for observation but will not be staying at Alaska Zoo.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman Bruce Woods said he will eventually be transferred to another zoo, possible out of the state.
Kali was taken in after its mother was killed by a hunter on the North Slope.
Mr Woods said it is illegal to knowingly kill a female polar bear or a female with cubs. He said it is too early in the investigation to determine if that is what happened in this case.
"The cub's life has changed forever," he told KTVA. "It's already been around people too much to ever be taken back to the wild. You could say it's sad that it's facing a completely different life. On the other side we hope it will be a good ambassador for polar bears and will be studied in captivity."
Polar bears are listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. There are no definite numbers of how many live in Alaska but the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that 2,000 bears are in the northern state.
Residents of Point Lay asked for the bear to be named Kali after the Inupiat name of their city.
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