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Posted at 12:20 PM ET, 05/ 4/2010

Andean bear cubs emerge from zoo den

By Washington Post editors

Thumbnail image for bears1.jpgPhoto by Mehgan Murphy

Months after twin Andean bear cubs were born at the National Zoo (and after several weeks of watching them on the zoo’s webcam), the duo ventured outside for the first time Friday, alongside their mom, Billie Jean, reports the Smithsonian's blog, Around the Mall.

The cubs, whose sexes were also recently revealed by veterinarians, spent an hour and a half playing and climbing walls before following Mom back into the den. Keepers said they were playful and even seemed to show off for the keepers, trying to wrestle each other and their mom, though it will likely be a while before they’re large enough to win that challenge.

Aside from their sex, the twins are easy to tell apart because of their distinctive facial markings: The male cub has lighter, more defined “eyebrows” -- the fur that surrounds his eyes looks almost like a pair of glasses, zoo keepers said.

The cubs won’t make a public debut until later this spring, so these pictures are holding us over until we can see the little (furry) bundles of joy for ourselves.

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By Washington Post editors  | May 4, 2010; 12:20 PM ET
Tags:  Billie Jean, Family, Home, National Zoo, Smithsonian National Zoological Park  
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