Polar bear cub takes first steps at Toronto zoo

OTTAWA (AFP) - Nearly a million people who watched online on Friday as a polar bear cub took its first clumsy steps in Toronto Zoo.

"Soooo cute!" declared one web user. "The cuteness... is pretty much unequalled," wrote another.

The cub is one of three males born in captivity on Nov 9, but the only one to survive.

Weighing less than 700g at birth, the cub was admitted to the zoo's intensive care unit for round-the-clock observation.

A detailed account of the cub's progress said he started purring with contentment within its first week, crawling soon after that, and rolling over for the first time at two weeks old.

"His coat is gradually becoming thicker and he continues to grow stronger each day," veterinary staff said on the zoo's website.

The cub is bit by bit "becoming more active and mobile, and is asserting his personality by growling and calling to staff".

The zoo is planning a contest in February to choose a name for the bear, which now weighs 4.4kg. Adult males can grow to 700kg.

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