Parenting Done Right, Polar Bear Style

This baby polar bear is having a good time playing near his mother at the zoo. He rolls around in the snow, and slides on the ice. Curious about the water nearby, he runs toward it, and then darts back away. Suddenly, he flips in with a splash as the watching crowd gasps.

The little bear struggles, but he doesn’t know how to swim yet, and his feet keep slipping on the wet rock edge.

Never fear!

Mama comes rushing to his rescue, and she knows just what to do.

Water will always be a part of this cub’s life and his home. His mama could just hoist him up on land, or shove him out of the water, but he needs to learn how to climb out on his own. She crowds in behind him, watching closely, but she does not rescue him. With gentle nuzzles, she encourages her cub to keep trying at the rocks. After a few more seconds, he gains his footing, hoists himself forward, and scrambles out.

The two of them are both proud of the outcome, and they roll and play together in celebration.

Watch the video below, and enjoy this moment of polar bear parenting, done just exactly right.