At the age of about three months, our little cubs are cutting their baby teeth. This is an important milestone in their development, as it means that very soon the curators will be able to mix soft, easily digested foods (yogurt, mashed fruits such as grapes and berries, applesauce, and even rice cereal) into their formula. Eating those foods will help Bonnie Blue and Ridgeway grow and gain weight even faster. That will mean they can leave the confines of the pen in the Cub Nursery and take the next step at ABR on their way to the Wild Enclosure. Just like human babies, cubs grow a set of baby teeth and lose them before getting their adult teeth. Of course this will happen much sooner to our cubs than it would to a child, who doesn’t begin to lose baby teeth until the age of 5 or 6 years. As we can see, in these photos, the cubs enjoy teething on the metal bars of the pen. Just like a teething ring, the metal is cool against the gums and eases the discomfort of the erupting teeth.
By the way, the cubs were weighed a few days ago and each of them now weighs about 5 pounds! They gained about 1 1/2 pounds in less than 2 weeks!