ROYAL OAK, Mich. (FOX 2) - A sad day for animal lovers and a sad day at the Detroit Zoo.
A polar bear cub born on Wednesday, died just two days later.
The bear was just one-pound when it was born on Wednesday while veterinarians are working to figure out what happened to this little cub and its sudden death.
"God this is so hard to do on camera," said Scott Carter, Detroit Zoo Chief Life Sciences Officer
It was difficult for zoo staff to even talk about.
"There was so much excitement when she's born so it's a pretty devastating loss
Scott Carter the zoo's Chief Life Sciences Officer says there is no way to know if 6-year-old Suka was pregnant. So the cub's arrival was big surprise Wednesday morning.
"Here we had the technology allow us to peek into that without her knowing, so we can monitor her, which is how we knew something wasn't quite right," Carter said.
Zoo staff kept round the clock watch with den cameras on first time mom Suka.
They typically don't intervene.
"We are very hands off because in almost in every case the mom is going to provide better care than we can," he said.
Veterinarians were forced to try and help, but they couldn't save her.
"Our veterinarians are doing a necropsy which would be an autopsy in a human to try to understand what happened," Carter said.
There are only 43 polar bears living in accredited zoos in the U.S.
Suka and the cub's father 14-year-old Nuka are the only polar bears at the Detroit Zoo.
"This is a contribution that we make to conservation to species in the wild because there are so few in zoos now and they are declining in the wild," Carter said.
If you're planning a trip to the zoo - you will only see Suka roaming, Nuka will be in her den which is normal this time of year.
"The mother is doing well but she obviously missed the cub at first and she was calling," Carter said. "She showed great maternal behavior so we are not surprised by that, but she is recovering pretty well."