Baby Polar Bear Video Went Viral For All The Wrong Reasons
While you were rolling out of bed this morning, a video of a polar bear cub struggling to get back to sleep made its rounds on the internet.
The video may be relatable to those of us who know the feeling of tossing and turning in bed (and who doesn't know that feeling?), but the cub's struggle to fall asleep could be due to more disheartening reasons than him having too much caffeine before bed.
The bear in the clip is a 3- or 4-month old cub at Adventure World, a Japanese amusement park and zoo, according to the video's caption. And under normal circumstances in the wild, bedtime would look much different for this newborn cub.
"Until the age of about 4 months, [a bear cub would] be in a den, nursing with its mother," Susanne Miller, wildlife biologist at Alaska's Fish and Wildlife Service, told The Dodo.
Compared to a well-lit glass box, a den is a much darker environment for a cub to grow in.
Regulated by geothermal heat and a mother's body temperature, the den is a place where cubs are "completely dependent" on their mothers for "warmth and survival," according to Miller. In the wild, cubs won't even leave the dark den until later in the season, about four months after their birth.
Below is a video captured by BBC's Planet Earth at the very moment two young cubs enter the sunlight and see the world outside their den for the very first time.
It may not be as popular on social media as the bear in the video above, but it's certainly just as cute.