PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It was a day of fun and education at the Philadelphia Zoo Thursday as visitors celebrated a young bears birthday.
Visitors and staff sang happy birthday to Kayla — the four-year-old Sloth bear.
Her exhibit mate Bhalu turns four in January. Together they unwrapped presents to find honey, peanut butter and other treats. Kids even got make the birthday girl cards.
“So we want these guys here at the zoo to exhibit all of the same natural behaviors they would in the wild,” says Lauren Etkins — lead Bear keeper at the zoo. “So these guys have really long claws. They are really good at digging and tearing so we give them things to tear up and dig into. They have very long snouts because they eat bugs out of aunt hills and termite mounds.”
Sloth Bears come from Asia. They are considered vulnerable in the wild because of habitat loss and poaching.
“We have them here and they are kind of like our ambassadors to their wild cousins,” says Etkins. “If, you know, people see them here and they are really excited about them and they see what cool animals they are going to do what they can to help save them in the wild as well.”
The next birthday party is later this month for the oldest polar bear in the country –Coldilocks – who will be 36 years old.