The young polar bears stepped outside for the first time at the Danish zoo, but no one witnessed the debut since the park is closed due to the coronavirus

By Benjamin VanHoose
March 19, 2020 02:06 PM

These twin polar bear cubs had quite the debut — even if they didn’t have the typical welcome wagon to witness it!

While zoos temporarily close their gates to the public during coronavirus precautions (much like restaurants, arenas and other gathering spaces around the world), the Dutch Ouwehands Zoo in Rhenen, Netherlands, introduced their little 3-and-a-half-month-old polar bears without any spectators.

As seen in footage released by the zoo, the two animal babies stretched their legs for the first time outside of the maternity den, where it’s dark and sound-proofed. Sticking close to their momma bear’s side on Wednesday, the siblings frolicked on their new stomping grounds.

“We live in bizarre times where the coronavirus has captivated the entire world and we are all advised to stay at home,” wrote the zoo, translated to English. “… Meanwhile, life in the zoo continues as usual. The animals are waking up, the trees are blooming and the carefree polar bear twins are showing their noses outside for the first time.”

On Nov. 27, the mother polar bear, named Freedom, welcomed the twins, whose sexes are currently unknown. Once the sexes are evident, the zookeepers already have naming options ready to go: Yuka and Atlas for boys and for Yura and Nova for girls.

The zoo — which is closed at least until April 6 — currently has five polar bears, the three adults are all females spanning three generations.

RELATED: Visit the Animals at These U.S. Zoos and Aquariums Live from Your Sofa During Social Distancing

PIROSCHKA VAN DE WOUW/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

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In order to give their animal residents an audience, several zoos are making live-streams available for people at home to view while practicing social distancing.

The Cincinnati Zoo, for one, is hosting daily “Home Safari Facebook Lives,” with each showcasing one of their animals and offering a fun, educational activity for those at home. The zoo’s first livestream on Monday featured one of its most famous inhabitants, Fiona the hippo.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

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