Born June 2nd, these critically endangered male Amur Tiger cubs are now on public display at Utah's Hogle Zoo. Mother Basha has been busily attending to the three playful little brothers and they have been growing steadily for the past three months. Amur Tigers are the largest of all cat species, reaching 11 feet and up to 650 lbs. in adulthood.
TINY TIGER TRIO MAKES GRAND ENTRANCE AT HOGLE ZOO'S ASIAN HIGHLANDS
(Salt Lake City, UT) - Utah's Hogle Zoo is thrilled to announce that three
critically endangered male Amur tiger cubs have been born in Asian Highlands
to parents Basha and Kazek. Since the June 02, 2009 birth, the three tiny
cubs have been out of visitors' view while they were getting stronger and
bonding with their mother. Media opportunities for interviews, photos and
footage will be available today (August 25) from 9:30 until 11 am. The cubs
will also be on public display as of today.
For the past couple of months these tiger brothers have become increasingly
active and Basha is kept busy nursing and caring for her three active and
playful cubs. Although this is first litter for her, she is proving to be an
excellent mother. "With first-time moms we prepare ourselves to deal with
the unknown. But Basha took on the three cubs like she was a natural; she
was an extremely caring, protective, great mom from day one," says Hogle Zoo
feline keeper Jill VanMilligen. She adds, "Basha was one of three cubs born
at Hogle Zoo in 2003 and now watching her become a mom herself is
incredible." This is the first time that Kazek, who arrived at Hogle Zoo in
2006 from the Buffalo Zoo, has sired a litter.
The Zoo's Amur tigers, formerly known as Siberian tigers, are part of the
Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP).
The Tiger SSP is responsible for maintaining a genetically healthy
population of tigers in North American zoos. There are approximately 130
Amur tigers in AZA-accredited zoos and about 500 living in small populations
of far eastern Russia and northeast China. Loss of habitat due to logging
activities, human encroachment and poaching are the main threats to their
survival in the wild.
Zoo tigers are extremely important ambassadors for their counterparts in the
wild. In fact when these cubs were born in June, Hogle Zoo was the only AZA
institution this year to effectively breed and have successful rearing by
the mother. According Hogle Zoo Assistant Director- Programs Kimberly
Davidson, "This birth is a testament not only to Hogle Zoo's excellence in
animal care but also our commitment to preserving Amur tigers." In zoos,
visitors can connect with big cats like Amur tigers and become inspired to
learn about and help preserve their future in the wild.
Amur Tiger Facts: The Amur tiger, formerly known as the Siberian tiger, is
listed as a critically endangered species. Amur tigers are the largest of
all the cat species, with the males weighing in between 400 and 650 pounds
and measuring up to 11 feet in length. In the wild, they are found living in
the snow-covered forests of eastern Russia and northeast China.