WHAT: Two six-week-old male Amur tiger cubs will make their public debut at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
WHEN: The cubs can be seen most days from noon to 4 p.m. Daily updates can be found on the Zoo’s website: www.columbuszoo.org.
WHERE: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Education Center
WHY: Two Amur tiger cubs were born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium on June 28 and 29, 2012. The cubs weighed just two to three pounds at birth. Since one of the cubs did not nurse for an extended period and appeared to be weakening, the decision was made to remove both cubs for hand rearing. The cubs are being raised together for companionship and socialization.
Initially in intensive care in the Zoo’s Animal Health Center the unnamed cubs are now doing well and currently weigh about 11 and 13 pounds. They are being bottle-fed every four hours and gradually introduced to meat.
These cubs are the first for five-year-old female, Mara, and nine-year-old male, Foli. They are the first Amur tigers ever born at the Columbus Zoo; the last birth of any tiger subspecies at the Columbus Zoo occurred in 1990.
The pairing of Mara and Foli was recommended by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan (SSP) for tigers. The AZA, of which the Columbus Zoo is an accredited member, strives to maintain a sustainable population of tigers in North America.
Native to Asia there are six living and three extinct subspecies of tiger. Currently there are fewer than 150 Amur tigers in 50 AZA institutions in North America. These tigers are considered pedigreed since they have a known ancestry and breeding recommendations to maintain genetic diversity are managed by a studbook. Amur tigers (Panthera tigris altaica), also historically referred to as Siberian tigers, are critically endangered; fewer than 500 individuals are believed to exist in the forests of the Russian Far East.
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The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium is home to more than 10,000 animals representing over 575 species from around the globe. The Zoo complex is a recreational and education destination that includes the 22-acre Zoombezi Bay water park and18-hole Safari Golf Club. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium also operates the Wilds, a 10,000-acre conservation center and safari park located in southeastern Ohio. The Zoo is a regional attraction with global impact; contributing more than $1 million annually to support over 70 conservation projects worldwide. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Columbus Zoo has earned Charity Navigator’s prestigious 4-star rating.