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National Zoo saves sloth bear cub after 2 eaten

Published: Friday, March 21, 2014 10:47 a.m. CST
Caption
(Mindy Babitz)
This handout photo provided by the Smithsonian's National Zoo, taken Jan. 6, 2014, shows keepers bottle-feeding the saved sloth bear cub at the zoo in Washington. Animal keepers at the National Zoo have saved a sloth bear cub after two others were eaten by the mother. The three cubs were born in December to a mother named Khali. One was eaten within 20 minutes, and a second cub was eaten after seven days. The zoo says it's not uncommon for carnivores to eat their young if they're compromised somehow. (AP Photo/Mindy Babitz, Smithsonian's National Zoo)
Caption
(AP)
This handout photo provided by the Smithsonian's National Zoo, taken Jan. 8, 2014, shows a sloth bear Khali's newborn cub being cared for at the veterinary hospital at the zoo in Washington. Animal keepers at the National Zoo have saved a sloth bear cub after two others were eaten by the mother. The three cubs were born in December to a mother named Khali. One was eaten within 20 minutes, and a second cub was eaten after seven days. The zoo says it's not uncommon for carnivores to eat their young if they're compromised somehow. (AP Photo/Smithsonian's National Zoo)

WASHINGTON – Animal keepers at the National Zoo have saved a sloth bear cub after two others were eaten by the mother.

The three cubs were born in December to a mother named Khali. One was eaten within 20 minutes, and a second cub was eaten after seven days. The zoo says it's not uncommon for carnivores to eat their young if they're compromised somehow.

When the third cub was left alone, animal keepers decided to take the cub and rear her by hand.

The zoo says the surviving cub is now active and growing. Animal keepers are caring for her 24 hours a day as surrogate parents. They carry the cub in a sling and provide regular bottle feedings.

The zoo hopes to eventually reintroduce her to other sloth bears.

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