Tiger

Milwaukee’s Tiger Cubs Make Public Debut

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The Milwaukee County Zoo’s three Amur Tiger cubs made their public debut on December 2 in the Zoo’s Florence Mila Borchert Big Cat Country. The cubs, one male and two females, have been named: Kashtan, Eloise and Bernadette.

The cubs were born September 14 to mother, Amba, and father, Strannik. ZooBorns introduced the trio in an article from October: “Tiny Trio of Endangered Tigers Born in Milwaukee”.

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4_Tiger Cubs 11-2016-1727 EPhoto Credits: Milwaukee County Zoo

While all three cubs are currently doing well, the male, Kashtan, was transferred to the Zoo’s Animal Health Center in October. Little Kashtan was not gaining weight steadily, and he had developed an abscess on one of his legs (possibly due to a lack of immunity). Vet staff cultured and flushed the abscess, and he was given a course of antibiotics. He returned to Big Cat Country on October 24.

When it becomes necessary to remove newborn Zoo animals from the family group, the mother may not always accept the animal when placed back into the group. Staff reports that Amba has consistently shown excellent maternal care with all of her offspring. But because Kashtan had an infection, and there can be many unknowns in reuniting him with mom after so much time passed, staff determined there were too many risks to putting them back together. Female Tigers also have the potential to injure offspring if reintroductions are attempted. The primary concern of the Zoo’s animal care staff is to avoid any risk of injury to the cub.

Kashtan is now being hand-raised by keepers; weaned from a bottle, and eating meat. He is regularly placed with his sisters, in one of the indoor exhibits, for socialization and exercise.

Zoo visitors can see Kashton, singularly, in one of the indoor exhibits in Big Cat Country. At times, zookeepers will be in the exhibit with Kashtan, offering him interaction, socialization and feedings, as part of the hand-raising process. The exhibit will also feature enrichment items (objects that allow him to show his natural behaviors), which are important for his neurocognitive and physical development.

As all three Tigers learn how to become adults, they need to interact with a variety of toys/enrichment items. Anyone interested in purchasing any of these items for the cubs can visit the Zoo’s Amazon Wish List: Tiger Cub Wish List

When the Tiger sisters, Eloise and Bernadette, are not on exhibit with Kashtan, they can be seen with mother, Amba, in the indoor Tiger Exhibit.

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“Are These My Stripes or Yours?”

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ZooBorns recently offered readers a glimpse of the beautiful twin Sumatran Tigers born at ZSL London Zoo. (Please see the lovely pics from our article: “Zoo Releases Video of Cubs for International Tiger Day”)

The cubs were born June 27 to mom, Melati, and dad, Jae Jae. Keepers eventually discovered they were dealing with a male and a female cub.

In relation to “twins”, there is always the question of how to tell which-from-which. A recent blog post from the Zoo offered some insight into how they are able identify which one is the relaxed male, Achilles, and which one is confident female, Karis.

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Photo Credits: ZSL London Zoo / Images 1 & 2: Karis (left), Achilles (right) ; Images 3 & 4: Achilles (two distinct curves come out of the outer corners of his eyes); Image 5: Karis (small heart-shape, or upside down V, on top of head)

Keepers note that Achilles is darker in comparison to his sister Karis, and he also has thicker markings. According to the Zoo, Achilles very much takes after dad Jae Jae, with a chilled-out personality and wide face, and young Karis is defined as her mother’s daughter, with narrow features and feisty character.

Achilles also has two distinct curves that come out of the outer corners of his eyes. These thick, dark lines are prominent in comparison to markings around sister Karis’s eyes.

If looking at Karis from above, she has a small heart shape (or upside down 'V') on the top of her head, in addition to some solid strips of ginger on her back. Tigers ordinarily have a solid black line running down their spine, but Karis has a few breaks, resulting in two distinct stripes running horizontally across the length of her back.

The mischievous pair has had meat introduced into their diet. According to the Zoo’s blog post, “When they’re not having play fights with each other you’ll most likely find them enjoying a nap somewhere in Tiger Territory, sleeping for up to 20 hours a day.”

The Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is the smallest of the six subspecies in existence today and are only found on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia.

Originally, nine Tiger subspecies were found in parts of Asia but three have become extinct in the 20th century. Less than 400 Sumatran Tigers remain the wild. They are classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

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“It’s the Great Pumpkin…!”

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Pumpkins and Jack-o-Lanterns are indicative of the fall season…and Halloween.

Zoo Keepers work hard to keep their animals healthy and happy. Enrichment toys and activities are an important tool that Keepers utilize to help in that pursuit. Enrichment items encourage natural behavior and stimulate the senses…and what could be more stimulating, this time of year, than celebrating by tearing into a bright orange pumpkin!

Happy Halloween from ZooBorns!

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Image 1: (Lynx) Tierpark Hellabrunn / Marc Muller

Image 2: “Red Pandas, Jung and Nima, get into the Halloween spirit”/ Chester Zoo

Image 3: (Snow leopard) Woodland Park Zoo

Image 4: (Amur Tiger) Woburn Safari Park

Image 5: Piglets-in-a-pumpkin/ Tierpark Berlin

Image 6: “Andean Bear, Bernie, tucks into honey-coated treats”/ Chester Zoo

Image 7: “Black Jaguar, Goshi, enjoys and early treat”/ Chester Zoo

Images 8, 9: Elephant Pumpkin Stomp/ Denver Zoo

Image 10: (Chimpanzee)/ Detroit Zoo/ Jennie Miller

Image 11: (Bison)/ Detroit Zoo/ Jennie Miller

Image 12: (Giraffe “Mpenzi”)/ Detroit Zoo/ Jennie Miller

Image 13: (Hippo)/ Woodland Park Zoo/ Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

Image 14: (Tiger)/ Woodland Park Zoo/ Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

Image 15: (Maned Wolf)/ Woodland Park Zoo/ Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren

More adorable Halloween pics, below the fold!

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Malayan Tiger Cubs Debut at Bronx Zoo

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Two rare Malayan Tiger cubs, born at WCS’s Bronx Zoo, are making their public debut.

The female cubs, Nadia and Azul, were born in January. This is the third litter of Malayan Tigers born at the Bronx Zoo.

In the days following the birth, their mother was not providing suitable maternal care, so Bronx Zoo keepers intervened and hand-raised the cubs until they were fully weaned.

“The majority of animals born at the Bronx Zoo are raised by their parents,” said Jim Breheny, WCS Executive Vice President and Director of the Bronx Zoo. “But in certain cases, the moms need help raising offspring. Our keepers did a wonderful job raising the Malayan Tiger cubs through the critical first few months of their lives. As the cubs mature, they are learning ‘how to be tigers’ and following their instincts and developing the skills and behavior of adult tigers. The transition process form cub to young adult is amazing to witness.”  

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4_Julie Larsen Maher_4587_Malayan Tiger Cubs_TM_BZ_08 29 16Photo Credits: Julie Larsen Maher / WCS Bronx Zoo

 

Initially, the cubs required 24-hour care and were bottle-fed a milk formula every three hours. Food intake was carefully recorded, and the cubs were weighed daily to ensure they gained an appropriate amount of weight.

The cubs were fully weaned by 40 days of age, at which time they began to be slowly introduced to sights, sounds, and smells of adult tigers.

After being allowed to properly acclimate to the off-exhibit holding areas at the Tiger Mountain exhibit, the cubs began exploring the expansive outdoor exhibit space.

Initially, the cubs will be on exhibit at Tiger Mountain for a few hours each day. That time will gradually increase as they continue to become more comfortable in their habitat. Exhibit times may vary.

Jim Breheny continued, “These two cubs are ambassadors for their species. With an estimated 250 Malayan Tigers remaining in the wild and fewer than 70 in accredited North American zoos, these cubs give us an excellent opportunity to introduce our visitors to the treats Malayan Tigers face in the wild and what the Bronx Zoo and WCS is doing to help guarantee the survival of the species.”

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Omaha Zoo Announces Names of Tiger Trio

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Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium recently held a contest to find names for their new Amur Tiger cubs. The endangered cubs were born July 7 to mom, Isabella, and ZooBorns shared their birth-story just a few days ago: Tiger Trio Debuts at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo.

Today, it was announced that keepers have made a decision, based on the names submitted by excited zoo visitors. The female cub has been named Aurora (a name suggested by Mackenzie Haake of Bellevue, Nebraska). One of Aurora’s brothers has been named Finn (submitted by Mary Vedder of Bellevue, Nebraska). The biggest boy in the trio has been given the name, Titan (suggested by 3 year-old Linden DeVard of Omaha, Nebraska).

Aurora currently weighs in at 15.5 pounds, Finn is a healthy 17 pounds, and Titan is just at 18 pounds.

The naming contest was held from August 18 though August 25. Guests to the Zoo were invited to submit the name ideas into a box at the Cat Complex exhibit. The cat’s keepers selected the winning names. According to the Zoo, there were 2,576 names submitted. The entrants of the winning names will receive a unique gift basket.

The cubs remain on display with their mom in the Cat Complex. While they are still nursing, the trio is showing an interest in their mom’s food and they will start eating meat at around three months old.

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Photo Credits: Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium (Image 1: Aurora; Image 2: Finn; Image 3: Titan; Image 4: mom, Isabella)

The Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), also known as the Siberian Tiger, is a subspecies inhabiting mainly the Sikhote Alin mountain region, with a small population in southwest Primorye Province in the Russian Far East.

The Amur Tiger once ranged throughout all of Korea, northeastern China, Russian Far East, and Eastern Mongolia. In 2005, there were reported to be 331–393 adults and sub adult Amur Tigers in this region, with a breeding adult population of about 250 individuals.

The Amur Tiger and Bengal Tiger subspecies rank among the biggest living cats. An average adult male Siberian Tiger outweighs an average adult male Lion by around 45.5 kg (100 lb.).

The Amur Tiger is reddish-rusty, or rusty-yellow in color, with narrow black transverse stripes. It is typically 5–10 cm (2–4 in) taller than the Bengal Tiger, which is about 107–110 cm (42–43 in) tall.

Amur Tigers mate at any time of the year. Gestation lasts from 3 to 3½ months. Litter size is normally two or four cubs but there can be as many as six. The cubs are born blind, in a sheltered den, and are left alone when the female leaves to hunt for food. The female cubs remain with their mothers longer, and later, they establish territories close to their original ranges. Male cubs, on the other hand, travel unaccompanied and range farther, earlier in their lives, making them more vulnerable to poachers and other tigers.

At 35 months of age, Tigers are sub-adults. Males reach sexual maturity at the age of 48 to 60 months.

The Amur Tiger is currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. According to the IUCN’s report: “…despite a bounce back in tiger numbers in 2010 after a very cold and snowy winter in 2009 (Miquelle et al. 2010). Poaching of Tigers as well as their wild prey species is considered to be driving the decline (Schwirtz 2009). Moreover, a broad genetic sampling of 95 wild Russian tigers found markedly low genetic diversity, with the effective population size (Ne) extraordinarily low in comparison to the census population size (N), with the population behaving as if it were just 27–35 individuals (Henry et al. 2009). This reflects the recent population bottleneck of the 1940s, and concords with the low documented cub survivorship to independence in the Russian Far East (Kerley et al. 2003). Further exacerbating the problem is that more than 90% of the population occurs in the Sikhote Alin mountain region, and there is little genetic exchange (movement of Tigers) across the development corridor, which separates this sub-population from the much smaller subpopulation, found in southwest Primorye province (Henry et al. 2009).

In China, the small population is not independently viable and dependent on movement of animals across the border with Russia.”

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Tiger Trio Debuts at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo

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Three Amur Tiger cubs, born July 7, are currently on display at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium. The cubs (two males and one female) went on exhibit with their mother, Isabella, who is a first-time mom.

The curious trio is eager to investigate everything, including what mom is eating. They are still nursing exclusively, but will begin to eat meat around three months old.

Their father, Sasha, is also on display in the Zoo’s Cat Complex, but he is currently living in a separate exhibit.

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4_IMG_8264Photo Credits: Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo

The Amur Tiger (Panthera tigris altaica), also known as the Siberian Tiger, is a subspecies inhabiting mainly the Sikhote Alin mountain region, with a small population in southwest Primorye Province in the Russian Far East.

The Amur Tiger once ranged throughout all of Korea, northeastern China, Russian Far East, and Eastern Mongolia. In 2005, there were reported to be 331–393 adults and sub adult Amur Tigers in this region, with a breeding adult population of about 250 individuals.

The Amur Tiger and Bengal Tiger subspecies rank among the biggest living cats. An average adult male Siberian Tiger outweighs an average adult male Lion by around 45.5 kg (100 lb.).

The Amur Tiger is reddish-rusty, or rusty-yellow in color, with narrow black transverse stripes. It is typically 5–10 cm (2–4 in) taller than the Bengal Tiger, which is about 107–110 cm (42–43 in) tall.

Amur Tigers mate at any time of the year. Gestation lasts from 3 to 3½ months. Litter size is normally two or four cubs but there can be as many as six. The cubs are born blind, in a sheltered den, and are left alone when the female leaves to hunt for food. The female cubs remain with their mothers longer, and later, they establish territories close to their original ranges. Male cubs, on the other hand, travel unaccompanied and range farther, earlier in their lives, making them more vulnerable to poachers and other tigers.

At 35 months of age, Tigers are sub-adults. Males reach sexual maturity at the age of 48 to 60 months.

The Amur Tiger is currently classified as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. According to the IUCN’s report: “…despite a bounce back in tiger numbers in 2010 after a very cold and snowy winter in 2009 (Miquelle et al. 2010). Poaching of Tigers as well as their wild prey species is considered to be driving the decline (Schwirtz 2009). Moreover, a broad genetic sampling of 95 wild Russian tigers found markedly low genetic diversity, with the effective population size (Ne) extraordinarily low in comparison to the census population size (N), with the population behaving as if it were just 27–35 individuals (Henry et al. 2009). This reflects the recent population bottleneck of the 1940s, and concords with the low documented cub survivorship to independence in the Russian Far East (Kerley et al. 2003). Further exacerbating the problem is that more than 90% of the population occurs in the Sikhote Alin mountain region, and there is little genetic exchange (movement of Tigers) across the development corridor, which separates this sub-population from the much smaller subpopulation found in southwest Primorye province (Henry et al. 2009).

In China, the small population is not independently viable and dependent on movement of animals across the border with Russia.”

More amazing pics, below the fold!

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Zoo Releases Video of Cubs for International Tiger Day

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The twin Sumatran Tiger cubs, at ZSL London Zoo, recently joined their seven-year-old mum, Melati, when she emerged to bask in the summer sunshine.

In honor of “International Tiger Day”, keepers at the Zoo have released incredible close-up footage of the critically endangered cubs, born June 27.

According to Tigerday.org, “International Tiger Day is held annually on July 29 to give worldwide attention to the preservation of tigers. It is both an awareness day as a celebration. It was founded at the Saint Petersburg Tiger Summit in 2010. This was done because at that moment wild tigers were too close to extinction. Many animal welfare organizations pledged to help these wonderful creatures and are still helping to raise funds to reach this goal. The goal of Tiger Day is to promote the protection and expansion of the wild tigers habitats and to gain support through awareness for tiger conservation.”

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Concerning the cubs' recent adventure, Senior Curator of Mammals, Malcolm Fitzpatrick remarked, “…The trio spent all day outside in the sunshine, and when Melati took a break, dad Jae Jae was on hand to keep an eye on the twins.

“The cubs are very young, so they’re still sticking quite close to mum, but the more time they spend outside the more confidant they’ll become. We’re looking forward to seeing them explore the rest of their new territory over the coming weeks.”

Keepers have been keeping a close eye on the cubs since they made their public debut in the Zoo’s Tiger Territory exhibit, and they are pleased with how well the twins have been developing.

Until they all ventured out for the first time, keepers report that Melati and her small duo were left alone in their dens. Keepers are now starting to spend more time working near the dens and the enclosure. They are slowly introducing the cubs to the keepers’ presence, which will, hopefully, allow for a more relaxed and comfortable experience when the cubs have their first health check. Once the cubs are sexed, they will also be given names.

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Virginia Zoo Is Naming Their Tiger Cubs

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If you’ve ever wanted to name a tiger cub, now is your chance! The Virginia Zoo will be auctioning off the naming rights for both male Malayan Tigers born in January.

The online auction began April 14, 2016 and will conclude at the Zoo’s upcoming fundraiser, “Zoo To Do”, on May 14, 2016.

If you are unable to visit the Virginia Zoo’s fundraiser, online bids can be placed at the following link: http://bit.ly/263LhpS . Bidding starts at $100. The proceeds raised from the event and auction will go to the “Defining Moments” capital campaign which funds the Zoo’s newest expansion, World of Reptiles.

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4_12901340_10154210228293054_5043478179320769504_oPhoto Credits: Virginia Zoo

The two Malayan Tiger cubs were born at the Virginia Zoo on January 6. The males arrived, about 12 hours apart, to parents Api and Christopher.

The cubs were born after the typical 103 days gestation to a healthy mother. However, with several hours of close observation, the Zoo’s animal care and veterinary staff were not comfortable with the level of care that first-time mom Api was giving.

After much internal discussion and consulting with the National Species Survival Plan Chair for Malayan Tigers, the decision was made to remove the cubs from the mother and hand-rear them.

(See ZooBorns original post introducing the brothers—which includes video! “Critically Endangered Tiger Brothers at the Virginia Zoo”)

The cubs are getting bigger by the day. Recently, they had their 12-week vaccines and each boy weighed-in at 25 pounds.

The boys have their deciduous set (baby set) of incisors and canine teeth. They are also still teething and enjoy chewing on their toys. At around 6 months of age, their baby teeth will fall out and adult/permanent teeth will come in.

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Jacksonville Zoo Set to Debut Sumatran Tiger Cub

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Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ (JZG) first Tiger cub in 35 years will make her public debut on Saturday, February 13 at 10:00 a.m.

The 18-pound Sumatran Tiger cub will be on exhibit for the first time in JZG’s ‘Land of the Tiger’. The award-winning exhibit features a fortified trail system for her to explore that spans the length of two football fields—plenty of choices for the adventurous cub.  

“It has been so much fun watching our Tiger cub grow and play, and I can’t wait to share her with our visitors,” said Elana Kopel, Senior Mammal Keeper at JZG. “It is my hope that when they see her, it inspires them to support the conservation of these incredible, endangered animals.”

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3_Cub getting used to her surroundings in preparation for her debut Credit - John ReedPhoto Credits: John Reed

This will be an exciting time for the cub, allowing her the first opportunity to explore her new surroundings with her feline curiosity. She has spent the first few months of her life in a den, off-exhibit, to encourage and strengthen the loving bond with her mother, Dorcas. Her impressive new home provides a fully immersive experience for both guests and animals, and JZG can’t wait to introduce the Jacksonville community to this adorable youngster.

The Zoo will also announce the cub’s name, given by a generous donor, when she makes her exhibit debut.

The cub was born in the early morning hours of November 19. She is the first Tiger born at JZG in 35 years and was the fifth Sumatran Tiger born in the U.S. in 2015. First-time mother Dorcas (also known as Lucy) is 4-years-old, and first-time dad, Berani, is 14-years-old.

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Rare Tiger Cubs Are Off and Running

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Two critically endangered Amur Tiger cubs born September 17 at the United Kingdom’s Woburn Safari Park are off and running as they explore their nine-acre habitat.

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Image001Photo Credit:  Woburn Safari Park

The playful five-month-old cubs, both females, are now old enough to live in the main Tiger reserve where they are being given the grand tour by their mother, four-year-old Minerva.

You first met the cubs here on ZooBorns when they were just one month old.  Since birth, the cubs have been living with their mother in a den, much like they would in the wild.  In the safety of the den, the cubs learned to play, pounce, sharpen their claws, feed on meat, and cause plenty of mischief. 

These are the first Tiger cubs to be born at Woburn Safari Park in 23 years, so their birth is an important landmark for keepers.  The latest estimates show that numbers of Amur Tigers (also referred to as Siberian Tigers) are as low as 520 in the wild.  Less than 100 years ago, only about 40 Amur Tigers remained in the wild.  Despite this perceived comeback, the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists these cats, which are the largest of all Tiger subspecies, as Critically Endangered due to the persistent threat of poaching and loss of habitat. The international Amur Tiger captive breeding program is of vital importance for the future of this magnificent species.

See more photos below.

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