There was splishing, splashing and a whole lot of cuteness when the youngest polar bear cub at the Toronto Zoo got his first bath.
In a video released Friday by the zoo, the still-unnamed cub can be seen trying to gain his footing in a small tub of water, while also trying to lick up the bath water too.
The cub, born Nov. 9, was given a bath by veterinarian tech Michelle Lovering at the zoo’s Wildlife Health Centre, where he has lived since birth.
“He was initially a little surprised but actually very calm in the bath,” Lovering told GoodMorningAmerica.com today. “He was in there for only about 10 minutes before he tried to get out himself so we took him out.”
Lovering said that polar bears in the wild would wait even longer to get their first taste of water – they typically stay in their den for the first three months of life – but the zoo let the cub sample water a bit earlier to prepare him for life at the zoo.
“He will have a pool on exhibit so we try to introduce the cubs a little earlier,” she said. “We like to introduce him to water in a a small tub initially.”
In addition to his first bath, January marked another major first for the tiny cub, his first steps. The zoo posted video on its Facebook page Jan. 8 showing the tiny cub finally finding his footing.
In the months ahead the cub will look forward to getting a name – the zoo plans to hold a naming contest, per Lovering, but has not announced any details yet – and enjoying the other perks of growing up.
“We’re starting to introduce him to solid foods and toys and that’s all going well,” Lovering said. “The next big thing will be getting him comfortable with the outside and the snow.”
Once the cub is strong enough, it will join the zoo’s three adult polar bears – two females and one male – in its Tundra Trek exhibit, according to Lovering.