As the cubs grow bigger, it becomes harder to bottle-feed them. So, at this age, the Pazhetnovs try to feed them from bowls. To do that, the orphans need to be weaned onto solid food. What is that? Semolina. Semolina. Katya uses fortified semolina porridge. It’s packed with essential nutrients. And? Mmm… It’s very sweet. Very sweet, yes. This is something I could eat. The porridge is watered down to begin with, to help with the transition from bottle to bowl. Katya and I will feed the bears one at a time, because learning to bowl feed can be dangerous for the cubs. If they put their noses too far into the bowls, they can accidentally inhale the food, leading to pneumonia, which can be fatal. We start with Zhora, the largest but least developed cub. We want Zhora to associate the bowl with food, so before we put it on the floor, we
give him a little taste of the porridge. This is spot on. Ten out of ten. Zhora is doing incredibly well. He was the bear cub that we were most worried about early on, and now look at him, he’s standing up on his back legs. His whole rear end is coming
up, his head’s down, he’s mastered feeding from the bowl. Zhora’s development has been
slower than the others, but now he’s the first to learn how to feed from a bowl and he’s
starting to walk. He’s a little bit unsteady. But this floor’s a bit slippy, so it’s maybe
not the best surface to show his skills. That’s exactly what we want to see. It’s a huge relief to see Zhora walking. But there’s no time to celebrate with five hungry cubs to feed. The other orphans get to grips with bowl feeding. But weaning baby bears is as messy as you might imagine.