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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bearing up nicely: Six-week-old grizzly cubs greet the world with the wave of a paw

By Oliver Pickup

We're quite a handful: The six-week-old grizzly bear cubs pose for the camera with handler Norman Phillips

Cute and able to be held one in each hand, these grizzly bear cubs look perfectly cuddly.

But come adulthood it will be a different matter.

This, so far unnamed pair, are six weeks' old and were born at Northwood Zoo in Seagrave, Ontario, Canada.

We're no trouble: Mr Phillips may be able to hold up the two cubs now, but soon they will be much more tricky to handle

Pictured with handler Norman Phillips, their mother is a 20-year-old grizzly also being kept at the zoo.

They will be raised at Northwood, a zoo which seeks to education people about the environment through a variety of outreach programmes.

Grizzly bears, known in Latin as ursus arctos horribilis, are thought to have descended from Ussuri brown bears which crossed to Alaska from eastern Russian 100,000 years ago.

A male can range in weight from 30st to 40st while a female will weigh between 17st and 25st.

The word 'grizzly' refers to 'grizzled' or grey hairs in its fur, but when naturalist George Ord formally named the bear in 1815, he misunderstood the word as 'grisly', to produce its biological Latin specific name 'horribilis'.

The cubs will be looked after the Canadian zoo for the rest of their lives

Caring: The Northwood Animal Sanctuary in Seagrave, Ontario, is dedicated to environmental education through wildlife outreach programmes



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