The popular Tiger Mountain exhibit at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo is booming as six tiger cubs make their public debut today. The six cubs include three Amur and three Malayan tigers. The last litter of Amur tigers born at the Bronx Zoo was more than 13 years ago; and this is the first litter of Malayan cubs ever exhibited at the Bronx Zoo. The arrival of the cubs has brought a new dynamic to Tiger Mountain. For the first time, zoo-goers will see Amur and Malayan tigers, in adjacent exhibits, allowing them to compare the notable size and coloration differences between the two subspecies.
Amur Tiger Cub Triplets
Malayan Tiger Cub Triplets
Photo credits: WCS Bronx Zoo / Julie Larsen Maher
“The birth of these tiger cubs is true cause for celebration,” said Jim Breheny, WCS’s Senior Vice President of Living Institutions and Director of the Bronx Zoo. “The opportunity to be present and watch as these majestic creatures mature from playful cubs to awe-inspiring adults is an experience every New Yorker will enjoy. That both the Amur and Malayan tigers are part of the Tiger Mountain experience will make it easy for our guests to learn about both subspecies of tigers and how important it is to protect them in the wild.”
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Two of the three male Amur cubs have been named “Julian” and “Josie” in honor of Life Trustee and supporter Julian Robertson and his wife, the late Josephine “Josie” Robertson. The third Amur cub will be named in the near future.
Of the three Malayan tiger cubs, one male was given the name “Pepino” by Patricia Lanza, a dedicated WCS supporter, and the female was named “Claiborne” by WCS in honor of the late Liz Claiborne, a long-time conservationist and WCS supporter. The third Malayan cub, a male, will be named by the zoo’s wild animal keepers. The two sets of cubs will be in Tiger Mountain separately for the first few weeks. Check www.BronxZoo.com for their schedules.
Tigers are a critically endangered species with fewer than 3,500 remaining in the wild – only 1,000 of which are breeding females. The six tiger cubs at WCS’s Bronx Zoo are ambassadors for their species. A new study released by WCS and other groups reveals an ominous finding: most of the world’s last remaining tigers—long decimated by overhunting, logging, and wildlife trade—are now clustered in just six percent of their available habitat.
The paper identifies 42 “source sites” scattered across Asia that are now the last hope and greatest priority for the conservation and recovery of the world’s largest cat. The researchers assert that effective conservation efforts focused on these sites are both possible and economically feasible, requiring an additional $35 million a year for increased monitoring and enforcement to enable tiger numbers to double in these last strongholds.
The Wildlife Conservation Society has conducted ecological studies on tigers since the 1960s and has a long history of protecting these big cats through the establishment of protected areas, increasing enforcement against poaching, and public education. Wildlife Conservation Society researchers continue their work across Asia safeguarding tigers throughout their range. For more information on the study and how to help WCS save tigers in the wild, visit www.wcs.org.