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SALISBURY, Md. – The Salisbury Zoo in Maryland announced Friday that its female Andean bear had given birth to twin cubs, which are healthy and thriving.

Salisbury Zoo welcomes twin Andean bears

Photo of the twin cubs, born in January.

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The zoo announced the cubs’ arrival in a Facebook post, explaining that although the bears were born on Jan. 16, they waited to make the announcement because the bears are so fragile at birth. In the post, the zoo said when the cubs were born, they weighed less than a pound and didn’t open their eyes for the first month of their lives.

Chaska, the bears’ mother, is 12 years old and was described by the zoo as “an experienced mother” and “very attentive to her two cubs.” The cubs’ father, Pinocchio, is separated from both mother and cubs to mimic the behavior of bears in the wild.

Andean bears are the only bears native to South America, living in the Andes and outlying mountain ranges, according to Smithsonian’s National Zoo. The bears have distinctive white or cream “spectacles” around their eyes, as well as cream or white markings on its head, throat and chest. Those marks are individual to each bear, like fingerprints, according to Smithsonian’s National Zoo. The bears are considered “vulnerable” to conservationists.

As the cubs get bigger over the next month, they will be allowed outside and will be on display for visitors for the first time, WMDT reported.