Name Game for Amur Tiger Cub

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In early August, ZooBorns brought you a story about the new Amur Tiger cub at the Indianapolis Zoo. The adorable female is now two-months old, and keepers want the public's help in selecting a name!

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Tiger cub_Indianapolis Zoo_2Photo Credits: Jill Burbank (Photos 1,2,5); Laura Kriehn (Photos 3,4)

Born July 10th to first time parents, Andrea and Petya, the cub is one of four Amur Tigers at the Indianapolis Zoo. Both mother and cub are doing well, though they will remain in a private indoor area for several weeks to protect the young tiger's health. Veterinarians and keepers are pleased with the cub's progress. At her two-month checkup on Sept. 10, she had grown to about 18.3 pounds, nearly three times larger than the 6.2 pounds recorded during her first weigh-in on July 26. Keepers also note the cub is very active and playful toward Andrea. She is already eating meat and has even been observed doing some stalking behaviors.

Keepers at the Indianapolis Zoo have preselected three names and are inviting fans to participate in choosing a name via their facebook page. The three names selected for the poll are: Chudo (pronounced CHEW-da), meaning "miracle"; Shoomka (pronounced SHUM-ka), meaning "noisy"; and Zoya (pronounced ZOY-a), meaning "life”.

Facebook users who “like” the Zoo's page can vote daily through Friday, Sept. 26. Click the “Poll” tab at the top of their page, and votes can be placed. Additionally, one lucky fan who votes in the poll will be chosen at random to receive an Indianapolis Zoo prize pack, including a tiger plush and a family four-pack of Zoo tickets.

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Malayan Tiger Cubs Bonding with Mom at Tulsa Zoo

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The Tulsa Zoo is celebrating the birth of three endangered Malayan Tiger cubs. The cubs were born at the Tulsa Zoo on Aug. 8 to mom, Jin, and dad, Gahara. This is the second successful birth for the tiger pair.

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Malayan tiger cub_Tulsa_2Photo Credits: Photo 1, Ali Kalenak; Photo 2 & 3, Tulsa Zoo; Photo 4, Dr. Jen Kilburn

While the three cubs are doing well, unfortunately, one of their siblings did not survive long after it was born. This is not uncommon in a large litter of cubs. Staff continues to observe Jin and the cubs through closed circuit cameras, which allows staff to monitor them at all times without disturbance.

Jin has been a very attentive mother to the cubs, which are continuing to thrive. The new family will remain in an off-exhibit area as they continue to bond. Eventually, when the cubs are strong enough, they will be allowed to explore within the safe confines of the zoo’s current tiger exhibit. The Tulsa Zoo will soon break ground on a new tiger exhibit, which will feature an immersive, naturalistic habitat for the tigers, allowing guests to see these endangered animals up-close.

In 2008, the IUCN Red List classified the Malayan Tiger as “Endangered”. Native to the Malay Peninsula, there are fewer than 500 Malayan Tigers left in the wild due to poaching and habitat loss. Once considered to be part of the Indochinese Tiger subspecies, the Malayan Tiger was recognized, in 2004, as a new tiger subspecies when genetic analysis found that they were distinct from the Indochinese Tiger.

The Malayan Tiger cubs’ birth, at the Tulsa Zoo, was in conjunction with the Species Survival Plan(SSP), which manages species in Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos across the nation.

Big Announcement at Indianapolis Zoo

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The Indianapolis Zoo recently celebrated International Tiger Day (July 29) by announcing the arrival of a new Amur Tiger cub!  The baby was born July 10, and first-time mother, Andrea, is doing an amazing job in her new role.  The pair have been bonding in a private indoor enclosure, but in due time, visitors to the zoo will meet the new cub.  Until then, the public can actively participate in the celebration of this happy event by helping select a name for the new Amur Tiger cub.  The Indianapolis Zoo will be posting more information via their facebook page: Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens

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Tiger cub_Indianapolis Zoo_3Photo Credits: Indianapolis Zoo/Laura Kriehn and Jill Burbank

With the arrival of the new baby, the Indianapolis Zoo is now home to four Amur Tigers.  The cub joins its parents, six year old Andrea and seven year old Petya, as well as, Cila, an eleven year old, who was also born at the zoo.

The Amur Tiger, also known as the Siberian Tiger, is currently listed as EN (Endangered) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.  This may seem a discouraging outlook for the tiger, but it is a marked improvement from just 18 years ago, when the Amur Tiger was still classified as CR (Critically Endangered).

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UPDATE: Topeka Zoo's Tiger Cubs Have Mom by the Tail

10421179_654725794603777_3303628675568483363_nTopeka Zoo’s trio of Sumatran Tiger cubs, born on May 4, are becoming more active by the day!  Their favorite toy?  Mom’s tail!


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ZooBorns introduced the cubs in May when they were just over a week old.  The three female cubs soon outgrew their baby scale, and now wrestle and play at every opportunity to hone their survival skills.  Though not yet as fierce as an adult Tiger, the cubs do their best to attack broom handles, rubber boots, and of course, each other, as seen in the videos. 

Mom Jingga continues to be an excellent mother for her cubs.  These female cubs are valuable to the zoo-managed population of this Critically Endangered species.  Fewer than 500 Sumatran Tigers remain in the wild in Indonesia. 

See more videos of the cubs below.

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UPDATE: Topeka's Tiger Cubs Outgrow the Baby Scale!


Three Sumatan Tiger cubs born on May 4 at the Topeka Zoo have grown so big that they no longer fit on the baby scale for their weigh-ins.


Photo Credit:  Topeka Zoo

The cubs, all female, are being well-cared for by their mother, Jingga.  But when the cubs were about three weeks old, keepers noticed that Jingga’s mammary glands were becoming irritated and she was not providing enough milk for her babies. 

To give the babies a boost, keepers give the cubs supplemental bottle feedings three times a day for about 30 minutes each time.  Other than at these feeding times, the cubs stay with mom and nurse from her regularly. 

Thanks to this extra help and continued maternal care from Jingga, the cubs each weigh more than 10 pounds!  They now are placed in a bucket so they’ll remain in one place during their weigh-ins.

See the cubs’ baby pictures when they debuted on ZooBorns in May.

Sumatran Tigers are listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with fewer than 500 cats remaining in the rain forests of Sumatra.  Intense pressure from the human population, along with unsustainable palm oil plantations, is pushing these cats closer to extinction every day.  Palm oil in is hundreds of everyday products, including foods and cosmetics.  You can help Tigers by purchasing products made with sustainable palm oil.

First Look at Topeka Zoo's Tiger Cubs

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On May 4, Topeka Zoo in Kansas welcomed three Sumatran Tiger cubs! Mother Jingga gave birth to the first cub around noon and a few hours later the third cub was confirmed. Jingga has her cubs tucked away in a den box located in an interior holding space. Staff are keeping an eye on the new family using a camera installed in the den box, and the cubs recently had their first veterinary checkup.

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Photo credit: Topeka Zoo

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Fresno Chaffee Zoo Welcomes a Litter of Tigers

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Mek, a female Malayan Tiger at Fresno Chaffee Zoo in California, has given birth to not one but four cubs! The litter, born on January 5, will remain in the den to bond with mom for the next few months.

At ten days-old, a veterinary checkup on the cubs found that everyone so far is healthy, strong and thriving. The sexes of the cubs have also been determined: two females and two males. 

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4 tigerPhoto credit: Fresno Chaffee Zoo

Visitors to the zoo can take peek at the mother and cubs on a live video monitor set up outside the exhibit. The cubs' father, Paka, will stay on exhibit. (In the wild, male tigers don't help to rear their own young.)

Tigers are listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List. According to the zoo, only about 3,000 tigers remain in the wild, and of those only around 500 are Malayan Tigers, a subspecies that inhabits the Malay Peninsula. Tigers are threatened by habitat loss and poaching. 

Mek and Paka are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which coordinates breeding of tigers between zoos in order to maintain healthy genetics in the captive population. The birth of these four cubs is great news for the conservation of these cats. 

Ah-choo! Tiger Cubs Arrive at Little Rock Zoo

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Early in the morning on November 12, Suhana the Malayan Tiger gave birth to four healthy cubs at the Little Rock Zoo.  The zoo staff monitors the family with remote cameras, where they captured this video of a sneezing cub.

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Photo Credit:  Little Rock Zoo


For now, the cubs are with Suhana in their den, where they will remain for several more weeks, and all signs indicate that the cubs are progressing exactly as they should.  Once the cubs are weaned at three to five months, they will move into the zoo’s newly-renovated outdoor Tiger habitat.

The breeding of Suhana, age five, and her mate, nine-year-old Liku, was recommended by the Species Survival Plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which seeks to maintain a genetically-diverse zoo population of Malayan Tigers. 

Malayan Tigers are one of six existing Tiger subspecies.  Three subspecies – Javan, Caspian, and Bali – have gone extinct within the last 80 years.  In the wild, fewer than 500 Malayan Tigers remain in the forests of the Malay Peninsula and the southernmost tip of Thailand. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists all Tigers as Endangered.

After a Successful Surgery, Sumatran Tiger Cub is Reunited with Mom

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At Aalborg Zoo in Denmark, a Sumatran Tiger cub was born with an umbilical hernia. (This is a condition where the abdominal lining or part of an abdominal organ protrudes from the belly button area.) It was clear very soon after birth that the cub would need an operation. Fotunately, this little guy was in very good hands.

Veterinarians performed the surgery in October, using a gas to render the cub unconscious. This allowed the cub to wake up immediately after the surgery so that the little Tiger could be reunited with mom as soon as possible. The cub has recovered well and is being raised by mom, growing up strong and healthy. 

Wild Sumatran Tigers are found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. A Critically Endangered species, there are an estimated 400 to 600 left in the wild, with habitat loss and poaching posing the greatest threats. The smallest of six tiger subspecies that exist today, a fully grown Sumatran Tiger can weigh up to about 310 pounds (140 kg).

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Photo credits: Aalborg Zoo

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Tiger Cubs Pass Their Swim Test at Smithsonian's National Zoo

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Two Sumatran Tiger cubs took a brisk doggy paddle at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo on November 6 and passed their swim reliability test. The male and female cubs, named Bandar and Sukacita (SOO-kah-CHEE-tah), were born at the zoo on August 5. All cubs born at the zoo's Great Cats exhibit must undergo the swim reliability test to prove that they will be safe on exhibit. Bandar and Sukacita were able to keep their heads above water, navigate to the shallow end of the moat and climb onto dry land. Now that they have passed this critical step, the cubs are ready to explore the habitat with their mother, 4-year-old Damai.

“Tigers are one of the few species of cats that enjoy taking a dip in water,” said Craig Saffoe, curator of great cats. “The moat exists for the safety of our visitors, but it could present an obstacle for young cats. Our job is to make sure that if the cubs venture into the moat, they know how and where to get out. These cubs represent hope for their critically endangered species’ future, so we need to take every precaution to ensure their survival.”

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Click here to see video. 

Both cubs took the test under the guard of animal keepers Dell Guglielmo and Marie Magnuson, who gently guided the cubs in the right direction. The shallow end of the moat is approximately 2 ½ feet (.75 m) deep. The side of the moat closest to the public viewing area is about 9 feet deep and is an essential safety barrier that effectively keeps the cats inside their enclosure.

This is the first litter of Tiger cubs born at the zoo since 2006, and the first litter for mom Damai. The cubs were sired by the zoo’s 12-year-old male Tiger, Kavi. Friends of the National Zoo hosted an opportunity to name one of the zoo’s Tiger cubs on the website Charity Buzz. On November 1, the winning bidder elected to name the female cub Sukacita, which means “joy” in Indonesian. The $25,000 donation supports ongoing research and education outreach at the Great Cats exhibit. Keepers selected the male cub’s name, Bandar, in honor of Bandar Lampung—a southern port city in Sumatra.

Starting Monday November 18, keepers will decide on a day-to-day basis whether Sukacita and Bandar will spend time in the yard and for how long they will be out. This decision will be based on weather and how the cubs adjust to being outdoors.

See more photos after the fold!

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