An Amur tiger cub who spent the past few weeks in the zoo’s veterinary hospital is ready to rejoin her family.
The 14-week old female, who doesn’t yet have a name, was removed from the tiger den when an abscess near the base of her skull became infected, making her lethargic and unresponsive. After several weeks of treatment, the 21-pound cub is healthier than ever and has become the most rambunctious member of her litter.
Zoo keepers and vet staffers are gradually reintroducing the cub to her family. She spends several hours each day with her brother and sister, and meets her mom through a fence.
The first time she re-met her siblings, the cub jumped on them, play-bit their tails, and snuggled up with them. The two other cubs were at first a bit frightened by their sister’s assertiveness, but now all three routinely play together.
The next step is for the cub to be in the same room as her mother, Toma. When the two meet through a fence, they exchange friendly chuffs. Staffers want to slowly acclimate Toma to the cub, though, in hopes that she will again accept her as part of the litter.
Amur tigers are the largest cats in the world, weighing in at upwards of 600 pounds in the wild. Once called “Siberian tigers,” they were pushed to near-extinction in the 20th century. Today, there are no longer tigers in Siberia. The 400 or so of this species that survive live in the Amur region of Eastern Russia and parts of Northern China.