mandatory credit: tierpark berlin

Berlin Zoo revealed the sex of the newest member of its furry family following an examination by veterinarians on Friday.

The female polar bear cub, which was born at the beginning of last December, weighed in at 8.5 kilos (18.7 pounds) and measured 61 centimetres (24 inches) from head to toe.

The fifteen minute examination was the first time that the unnamed baby bear has been separated from its mother Tonja.

The first opportunity for zoo visitors to see the new cub is expected to be in March, when, weather permitting, the zoo's director predicts she will be able to safely join her mother outside.

Tonja has already had two male cubs, both of whom unfortunately died in infancy, with one only surviving for 26 days and the other just four months.

The infant mortality rates for polar bears is exceptionally high - in the wild, approximately 85 percent of the newborns do not live for more than two years.


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