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.
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).
Native to the Russian Far East, the Amur Tiger was so endangered at one point, in the 1930’s, only 20 to 30 of the animals were known to exist in the wild. Today, there are estimated to be close to 500 individuals living in the wild, in parts of China and the Sikhote Alin Mountains of Russia. Poachers still pose a threat for this majestic tiger, in the wild. Not only are they being poached, but the prey they rely on for sustenance is also being hunted by man.
Currently, 155 Amur Tigers are living in AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) facilities across the United States, and according to WAZA (World Association of Zoos and Aquariums), almost 500 tigers are held in some 185 accreditied institutions around the world. Accredited zoos are vital in helping to secure the future of animals, such as the Amur Tiger. The Indianapolis Zoo’s conservation efforts include their partnership with Dr. Linda Kerley and the Amur Tiger Conservation Project (ATCP) study at the Lazovsky Preserve in Primorsky Krai, Russia. The Zoo’s support enabled an expansion to a camera tracking program. Because of the improved equipment, Dr. Kerley and her team were able to identify, for the first time since 2008, four new litters of cubs in the reserve!