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Newborn polar bear cub dies at Sea World

A polar bear cub born at Sea World last month has died.

The cub was one of two born to 16-year-old Liya at the Gold Coast theme park but concerns about its health were raised last Thursday when it was eight days old.

Sea World director of marine sciences Trevor Long said the smaller of the two cubs stopped growing at a healthy rate when the mother bear focused her attention on the other cub.

"Our ultimate aim was to give Liya every opportunity to raise both cubs, however the situation worsened on Saturday morning when it was observed Liya was no longer being attentive towards the smaller cub," Mr Long said in a statement.

According to polar bear experts, more than 50 per cent of cubs born in captivity die within a month.

Mr Long said the mother bear was displaying "positive and confident maternal behaviours" towards the second, bigger cub.

"The team are continuing to carefully observe Liya and the cub 24 hours a day through state-of-the-art monitoring systems and we remain cautiously optimistic for the welfare of the cub during this extremely critical period," he said.

AAP

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