Rare Amur tiger cubs born at the Minnesota Zoo

Published: Jun. 9, 2022 at 10:36 AM CDT
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APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (KTTC) – The Minnesota Zoo announced Thursday the birth of four Amur tigers cubs that were born at the zoo last month.

According to the Minnesota Zoo, the cubs were born on Mother’s Day, May 8, 2022.

The Zoo said one cub did not survive, which is not uncommon in litters of this size. However, the three other cubs quickly and successfully bonded with their mother, Sundari, Dari for short.

“These cubs represent a major, positive step forward in our efforts to support the global population of Amur tigers,” said Minnesota Zoo Director John Frawley. “Having three thriving cubs, and a mother who is successfully raising them, is a true testament to the care and dedication provided by our incredible team of zookeepers and veterinary staff.”

Amur tiger cubs
Amur tiger cubs(MN Zoo)

The cubs include two males and one female and have been closely monitored over the last month as they grow. They are still in a behind-the-scenes habitat with Dari.

“Dari has proven to be an incredible mother to these cubs,” said Dr. Taylor Yaw, Chief Animal Care, Health, and Conservation Officer. “She has been attentive, nursing around the clock, and keeping the cubs groomed and by her side. The deep bond and trust that our keepers have formed with Dari over the years has allowed us to monitor the cubs and safely separate her from the cubs in order to perform routine health checks.”

Dari with a cub
Dari with a cub(MN Zoo)

The cubs were sired by the Zoo’s male Amur tiger, Putin, that passed away this March. Putin and Dari successfully bred in late January. They are also the parents of Vera, who was born at the Minnesota Zoo in 2017 and transferred to a zoo in Nebraska in 2019 as part of an Aquariums Amur tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP) breeding recommendation.

The Zoo said there are only about 500 Amur tigers remaining in the wild.

“Amur tigers are among the most endangered animals in the world,” said Dr. Seth Stapleton, Minnesota Zoo Director of Conservation. “Their numbers have declined dramatically over the last decades as a result of habitat loss, poaching, loss of prey, and other factors, which is why the role of zoos in tiger conservation is so crucial.”

The Zoo anticipates the cubs will be introduced to their public habitat in mid to late July.

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