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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.

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 accredited 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!

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