more to roar about—Zoo welcomes 2 Tiger Cubs
The Toledo Zoo has announced the birth of two Amur tiger cubs on
Monday, September 26, 2011 to father Strannik and first-time
mother Marta. The cubs’ gender(s) have not yet been determined,
and they are not scheduled to go on exhibit until some
time in January, 2012. These initial months allow the cubs
to become fully mobile and have full protection from their
initial vaccinations; weather and exhibit conditions could also
affect the date of their public introduction.
“Marta appears to be doing a really good job caring for the
cubs, but we remain cautious because litters to first-time
mothers often do not survive due to poor mothering skills,”
Dr. Randi Meyerson, curator of mammals, said. “So far Marta
is displaying very good maternal behavior.” Average litter size
for Amur tigers is two to four cubs.
The cubs are the second generation of Amur tigers born at the
Zoo. Their mother, eight-year-old Marta, was born at the Toledo
Zoo in May, 2003. In early summer 2011, the cubs’ father,
eight-year-old Strannik, arrived from the Erie (Penn.) Zoo, on
loan from the Toronto Zoo. Although exhibited together
throughout the summer, Strannik and Marta were separated about a
month before the cubs were due. The cubs will remain with Marta
for at least two years.
Strannik and Marta’s breeding was recommended by the Amur tiger
Species Survival Plan (SSP). The Association of Zoos and
Aquariums (AZA) coordinates the SSP program, a collaborative
breeding and conservation initiative to ensure that the
population is healthy and genetically diverse. The Toledo Zoo
participates in more than 30 SSPs.
Amur tigers, formerly known as Siberian tigers, are the largest
tiger subspecies, and about 143 Amur tigers live in about 53 AZA-accredited
zoos. Originally, eight subspecies existed; three of those
subspecies are now extinct. The five remaining subspecies,
including the Amur tiger, are critically endangered due to
habitat loss and fragmentation as well as poaching of both
tigers and their prey.
The Toledo Zoo is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is
located on the Anthony Wayne Trail (US 25), four miles south of
downtown Toledo. Visit toledozoo.org or call (419) 385-4040.
Lucas County residents are admitted free of charge each Monday
from 10 a.m. to noon. ID showing proof of residency is required.
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