Watch the Queens Zoo’s Andean bear cubs explore their habitat for the first time on new episode of ‘The Zoo’

Animal Planet
A female Andean bear and her cubs on exhibit at Queens Zoo. (Photo courtesy of Animal Planet)

The Queens Zoo will have their Andean bear cubs featured on the newest episode of the Animal Planet’s “The Zoo” this weekend.

“The Zoo” takes viewers behind the scenes at the day-to-day activities at the Bronx Zoo and its sister parks as it focuses on the importance of zoos and aquariums to a wide range of global wildlife conservation efforts. The show also shines a light on the zoo’s animals, the expertise of staff, and their unique relationships with the animals in their care. 

On this week’s new episode, the show explores the Queens Zoo’s work with their Andean Bear cubs. The cubs, named Brienne and Benny, were born at the zoo in January 2019. The show highlights the cubs’ first experience exploring their new habitat back in May 2019.

Andean bears are the only bears native to South America and have been classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – estimates indicate that there are fewer than 18,000 remaining in the wild. The Queens Zoo has been breeding Andean bears as part of the Species Survival Plan (SSP), a cooperative breeding program designed to enhance the genetic viability and demographic stability of animal populations in zoos and aquariums accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). There are currently only 39 Andean bears in AZA-accredited zoos and only six potentially viable breeding pairs in the SSP population.

The new episode of “The Zoo” will air on May 16 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Animal Planet. Check out an exclusive clip below from this week’s episode, courtesy of Animal Planet: