Berlin's polar bear cub growing fast, public debut soon

In this photo provide by the Tierpark in Berlin, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, shows the female ice bear Tonya with her nameless cub. The young female ice bear was born on Dec. 1, 2018 at the Tierpark zoo in the German capital. (Tierpark Berlin via AP)
In this photo provide by the Tierpark in Berlin, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, shows the female ice bear Tonya with her nameless cub. The young female ice bear was born on Dec. 1, 2018 at the Tierpark zoo in the German capital. (Tierpark Berlin via AP)
In this photo provide by the Tierpark in Berlin, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, shows the female ice bear Tonya with her nameless cub. The young female ice bear was born on Dec. 1, 2018 at the Tierpark zoo in the German capital. (Tierpark Berlin via AP)
In this photo provide by the Tierpark in Berlin, Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019, shows the female ice bear Tonya with her nameless cub. The young female ice bear was born on Dec. 1, 2018 at the Tierpark zoo in the German capital. (Tierpark Berlin via AP)

BERLIN — Berlin's Tierpark zoo says its polar bear cub is almost ready to be introduced to visitors.

The zoo on Tuesday released new photos of the as-yet-unnamed female cub and her mother, Tonja. The bear was born Dec. 1 and weighed 8.5 kilograms (18.7 pounds) by the time of her first medical checkup nearly two weeks ago.

Zoo director Andreas Knieriem says that keepers are very satisfied with the cub's development and Tonja is a good mother. Mother and daughter will probably make their first appearance in the bears' outside enclosure — and see visitors for the first time — in mid-March.

The Tierpark has the same management as Berlin's other zoo, which was home a decade ago to celebrity polar bear Knut.

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