The first Andean bear to be born in mainland Great Britain has emerged from its den.
Chester Zoo welcomed the cub in January, but it has only just started to venture out and explore for the first time.
The species, also known as spectacled bears, were made famous by children’s character Paddington Bear. They are listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
The cub, which has not yet been sexed by zookeepers, was born to parents Lima and Bernardo.
Tim Rowlands, curator of mammals at the zoo, said: “The cub was tiny when it was born but Lima is doing a fantastic job, particularly given that she’s a first time mum, and the cub is developing quickly.
“Lima is keeping her new charge close and she certainly has her paws full. But even though she’s not letting it stray too far from her side, we can already see that her cub has a real playful side.
“This is a momentous breeding success for us. To become the first zoo in mainland Great Britain to ever breed the species is an amazing achievement – one that has taken years of careful planning, dedication and skill.
“Andean bears are still something of a mystery to conservationists and not a huge amount is known about them. But by working closely with the bears here, breaking new ground with this breeding, we’re constantly learning about this amazing species.
“We’re able to relay much of this information to our field conservation teams and partners in the wild, and it’s information that could be very important in terms of ensuring a long-term future for the bears.”