What could have had a sad ending, is now nothing short of happy tears and cuteness overload.

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An orphaned grizzly bear cub from Tok, Alaska has found a brand new home, and a new best friend, at the Detroit Zoo. The little guy is named Jebbie, a name given to him by the local residents who saw him wandering alone near a neighborhood in June. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) took him in for care, and made arrangements to transfer him to the Detroit Zoo.

Once Jebbie arrived, he went through a quarantine period and an exam by Detroit Zoological Society (DZS) veterinarians. After the "all clear", Jebbie was moved to the Arctic Ring of Life polar bear building, where he finally met his new best friend.

Laerke is one of the polar bear cubs born at the zoo back in November of last year. Two days after their births, Laerke appeared weak and stopped moving. She was brought to the Ruth Roby Glancy Animal Health Complex for around-the-clock emergency care. Unfortunately, due to the cub having health issues, mom Suka rejected the cub and zoo handlers took on nurturing and feeding little Laerke. From then on, the zoo searched for someone to be a bestie to Laerke.

“There are no other polar bear cubs who we can bring here to live with her, so we reached out to state agencies that frequently must find homes for orphaned grizzly bear cubs. We’re thrilled that we are able to give Jebbie sanctuary and provide a much-needed companion for Laerke,” said Scott Carter, chief life sciences officer for the DZS. “This social development is critically important for both Laerke and Jebbie.”

It seems like it's instant friendship with the cubs. Jebbie and Laerke have been gradually getting to know each other and the two young bears wrestle, play with toys and spend their days together. Starting Thursday, September 23, visitors can see Laerke and Jebbie grow up together in the Arctic Ring of Life.

Take a look at the two adorable cubs enjoying their new "brotherhood".

Photos: Detroit Zoo
Photo: Detroit Zoo
Photo: Detroit Zoo
Photo: Detroit Zoo


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