SALISBURY, Md.— Salisbury Zoological Park must say goodbye to its newest bear cub, Sinchi.
Andean bears, the zoo explained Friday, are naturally solitary animals, rarely coming in contact with other bears in the wild. Cubs typically venture out to start their own lives alone by 1 or 2 years old.
The zoo says Sinchi’s mother, Chaska, has made it clear to keepers it’s time for her son to “leave the nest.”
“Our bears are just exhibiting expected and normal behaviors, and we must honor their instincts,” the zoo said in a press release.
The cub born on the Eastern Shore last year will now head to Philadelphia Zoo by next week.
The recommendation came down from the bears’ Species Survival Program. With only 20,000 Andean bears estimated to be left in the wild, these animals are classified as vulnerable. Salisbury Zoo said last year Sinchi’s birth was important in Andean bear conservation, as father Pinocchio’s genetics add to diversity for future generations of Andean bears.
“It has been a great year sharing this baby bear’s birth and growth with you, our visitors,” the zoo wrote Friday. “We want to thank you for being involved in his life, for the support the community has given to the Salisbury Zoo, and for understanding these next chapters in Sinchi’s life.”
Sinchi will be on exhibit thru Thursday, April 8.