As you might have read here on ZooBorns on July 11, that the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio welcomed twin Amur Tiger cubs, both male. They were born on June 28 and 29. Both cubs have had their eyes open for about 10 days now, and have been taking advantage of their new sight to pad around. "It's impossible to get a picture of the two together because they won't sit still!" says a Zoo source.
Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica), also historically referred to as Siberian tigers, are critically endangered; fewer than 500 individuals are believed to exist in the forests of the Russian Far East. Their populations are dwindling due to overhunting of prey species such as deer and wild boar, habitat loss, and poaching for skins and body parts used in traditional Chinese medicine. Humans directly cause 75 to 85 percent of tiger deaths.
Read more about what is being done to conserve this species after the jump.
The Columbus Zoo is a long-term supporter of the Siberian Tiger Project which was established in 1992 by the Wildlife Conservation Society. The Zoo’s funding contributes to improving human-tiger conflict mitigation, increasing capacity for young Russian scientists, and biological monitoring of tigers through camera trapping, track surveys and radio collaring.
The tiger is the largest of all cat species. Native to Asia there are six living and three extinct subspecies of tiger. Currently there are fewer than 150 Amur tigers in 50 AZA institutions in North America. These tigers are considered pedigreed since they have a known ancestry and breeding recommendations to maintain genetic diversity are managed by a studbook.