Cleveland Metroparks Zoo today announced the birth of two Amur tiger cubs, the first tigers born in Cleveland in 20 years.
The cubs, a male and female, were born overnight between December 24 and December 25, and are being hand-reared by a special team of Animal Care experts behind-the-scenes at the Zoo’s Sarah Allison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine.
Over the past few weeks, the cubs have been bottle-fed five times a day and have been gaining weight as well as reaching developmental milestones including opening their eyes and beginning to walk. Once they are a few months old, having gained adequate strength and fitness, they will make their home at the Zoo’s Rosebrough Tiger Passage.
In the coming weeks, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo will share behind-the-scenes updates of the new cubs and their development on social media as well as exciting details on how the public can help name them.
Both mom, Zoya, and dad, Hector, are doing well and can be visited at the Zoo’s Rosebrough Tiger Passage throughout the year. While tigers are solitary animals, mother tigers typically raise their young for their first two years. However, it is not uncommon for first-time mother tigers to become overwhelmed with this new life experience and the Zoo’s Animal Care team closely monitored all maternal behaviors following birth. After thorough observation, Zoya displayed minimal signs of maternal care, requiring the cubs to be raised separately with the help of Zoo veterinary and husbandry care experts.
Amur tigers are an endangered species, with an estimated population of only 400-500 remaining in their native range in the far eastern side of Russia and northeastern China. Visitors to Rosebrough Tiger Passage at Cleveland Metroparks Zoo can learn about the threats Amur tigers face including habitat loss and poaching.