The first sun bear to be born in the UK emerges from her den for the first time

First steps – the first sun bear cub born in the UK has emerged from its den for the first time (Picture: PA)

A little one’s first steps are always special – but possibly even more so when they’re a cute little sun bear.

The first sun bear cub ever to be born in the UK emerged from its den for the first time and was captured on camera.

The so-far-unnamed cub was caught on video taking a stroll with mum Milli at Chester Zoo.

Just 12 weeks old, she took a few tumbles as she explored her surroundings before heading back to the den.

Wobbly – the 12-week-old was a bit unsteady on her feet but managed a wander with mum Milli (Picture: PA)

Tim Rowlands, curator of mammals at Chester Zoo,  said: “The new cub has plenty of enthusiasm but, at just 12 weeks old, she’s still somewhat wobbly on her legs. She’ll soon find her feet though and it won’t be long until mum Milli really has her paws full.

“Her little one will quickly gain in confidence, become more and more excitable and look to explore. That’s when her parenting skills will be given a new test.”


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The cub’s parents Milli and Toni came to the zoo in 2013 after being rescued from illegal wildlife traders in Cambodia who had killed their mothers and kept them as pets.

Mike Jordan, collections director at the zoo, said: “These bears had a really tough start to life and so to now see Milli thriving with a cub is ever so special.

No name – the cub hasn’t yet been given a name (Picture: PA)
Exploring – she took a few steps around her indoor enclosure before going back to her den (Picture: PA)

He added: “It’s the wonderful culmination of an awful lot of hard work by numerous conservationists – here and in Cambodia – who have fought to give her a brighter future.

“The cub is the shining beacon of light at the end of what, at one stage, was a very dark tunnel.”

Sun bears are the smallest of the world’s eight species of bear but are highly threatened in their native south-east Asia and thought to be extinct in Singapore, where they once existed in large numbers.