Indianapolis Zoo

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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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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Orphaned Walrus Calves are Home at Last

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The dramatic journey of two male Pacific Walrus calves, found stranded this summer near Barrow, Alaska, made a huge leap forward this week when they arrived at their new permanent homes – the  Indianapolis Zoo and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium. 

The touching stories of Mitik and Pakak, each just a few months old, began when they were found alone and suffering from dehydration on separate occasions in late July.  The tale of their rescue and rehabilitation at the Alaska SeaLife Center was first chronicled by ZooBorns on July 27 and their progress updated on August 10.  Readers around the world were captivated by the way the calves immediately bonded with their caregivers through touching and snuggling. 

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MitikPakak (2) Shauna Gallagher

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Walrus are very tactile and social animals, and the dedicated staff and caretakers at the SeaLife Center provided the social interaction that the calves needed. Walrus calves almost immediately adjust to human care, so they are not candidates for release back into the wild. 

Because the SeaLife Center is it not large enough to permanently house all the wildlife it rescues, Pakak moved last week to the Indianapolis Zoo and Mitik traveled to the New York Aquarium.  The staffs at each institution are understandably thrilled with their new arrivals, but fans will have to wait awhile to see the new calves:  both will undergo a routine quarantine period, with numerous health checks, before being introduced to the adult Walruses living at each zoo.  It may be several months before the calves are seen by the public.

The 24-hour care the calves received at the Alaska SeaLife Center continues in their new homes, fulfilling their nutritional and social needs until they are introduced to their new companions.  In Indianapolis, Patak will join longtime zoo resident Aurora; Mitik will share the New York Aquarium’s exhibit with Kulu, age 17, and Nuka, age 30.

Both calves were in poor health at the timke of their rescue, but have steadily improved during their rehabilitation period.  The calves currently weigh about 240 pounds, and as adults they could weigh more than 1,500 pounds. 

Walruses face environmental threats in their Arctic habitat. Because of the lack of suitable ice, more and more Walruses are congregating on land. Overcrowding in these areas may play a role in spreading disease among populations.

Photo Credits (top to bottom):  Sybille Castro; Alaska SeaLife Center; Shauna Gallagher, Indianapolis Zoo; Indianapolis Zoo

Third Baby Elephant Makes History in Indianapolis!

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African Elephant Kubwa has given birth to her third calf, making history once again as the first African Elephant in the world to conceive and give birth successfully via artificial insemination three times. The newest member of the Indianapolis Zoo herd is a female born at on July 20 and weighing in at 238 lbs., a very good size for a baby African Elephant.

The calf nursed many times during the first day and Kubwa again demonstrated very good mothering instincts. As has been the case with all of her calves, the new little one initially needs a bit of help to reach the source of mom’s milk. Kubwa is a very tall elephant, so a small step stool arrangement has been used so the calf can step up with her two front legs and stretch up to nurse. It has worked very well in the past, and it appears our new, very lively little girl learned the trick quickly – trainers report she is nursing frequently!

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Photo credits: Gabi Moore / Indianapolis Zoo

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Everybody Loves A Baby Dolphin!

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At the Indianapolis Zoo in Indiana, the Marsh Dolphin Theater is closed and Dolphin Shows are temporarily cancelled  but for a really wonderful reason: the birth of an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin at approximately 5am on the morning of Friday, June 3, to mother Nova. Marine Mammal staff believe the calf is a male, and he is doing well so far. He has been nursing regularly and appears healthy. The first photos are in by their own president & CEO, Mike Crowther!  

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Photo Credit: Mike Crowther

Quiet time is needed for mother and baby to bond during the first crucial days of life. The staff is optimistic, but it's early on in this process, so caution is indicated.  Information on the condition of the baby will be posted on their website. It's very relaxing to watch the video of mom and the baby below.


Dolphins are endangered for several reasons, all related to humans. Pollution of rivers, seas and oceans by man is one. Since they are the highest on the food chain, everything they consume creates the highest level of contaminants in their bodies, which weaken their reproductive systems and make them far less resistant to disease.

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Nubian Goat Kids at the Indianapolis Zoo

Nubian goat kids were born April 8 in The Indianapolis Zoo's Encounters area.  The one on the right (first photo) is a male named Domino and the one on the left is a female named Polka Dot.  Mom is named Spot! Anglo-Nubian goats originated in England as a cross between the Old English Milch Goat and the Zariby and Nubian bucks imported from India, Russia, and Egypt.


here we see Polka Dot with another brother, Stuart..

Soaking in the rays

Copyright Photographer Fred Cate.