Baby Polar Bear
December 27, 2011 by staff
Baby Polar Bear, As his more than 1 million YouTube fans can attest, polar bear S**u’s main job these days is to be un-bear-ably adorable as he rolls around on his back, sucks a handler’s finger, and takes long, leisurely naps with his tongue hanging out.
But the little 5-week-old Internet sensation has some serious business in his future – serving as an ambassador-at-large for his wild polar bear brethren, whose population is shrinking right along with the sea ice that provides their hunting grounds. In fact, his name means “sea ice” in the Inuit language Inupiat.
S**u – all fluffy white 7 pounds of him – made an exclusive debut on TODAY Tuesday live via satellite, tended to by his main caretaker, Frank Vigh-Larsen. With S**u’s mom Ilka unable to nourish him, it is left to Vigh-Larsen and other handlers at Scandinavian Wildlife Park in Denmark to ensure S**u’s survival in his first weeks of life.
As he grappled on-camera with his squirmy charge, Vigh-Larsen told Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie about the challenges of taking care of a little white bear who needs round-the-clock attention.
“It takes a lot of patience, it takes away your sleep, but it gives back a fantastic opportunity to see this little thing grow up,” Vigh-Larsen said live from Kolind, Denmark.
The folks at Scandinavian Wildlife Park are delighted S**u’s taped antics have gone viral – it means he’s already doing his job of drawing attention to the plight of the diminishing polar bear population in the wild. And little S**u faced some pretty big challenges himself after being born Nov. 22.
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