INDIANAPOLIS — The year of the Tiger has brought three new additions to the Indianapolis Zoo. The zoo announced Thursday that its 7-year-old Amur tiger, Zoya, gave birth to triplets.
In a news release announcing the multiple births, the Indianapolis Zoo said the first-born tiger was a female cub and she was joined by two brothers. Pavel, 14, is the father of the triplets.
Zoya was born at the Indianapolis Zoo in 2014, and this is her first litter of cubs, the zoo said. Officials said that while Zoya was able to deliver the first tiger naturally, veterinarians had to intervene to help the two other cubs out via cesarean section. The cubs each weighed approximately 2 pounds at birth.
The zoo said that Zoya is “well and healing” and that the cubs are healthy, but that the cubs will likely never be introduced to or placed in the same space with their mother. The zoo explained by saying, “Tigers are solitary by nature and Zoya is not raising them. Our animal care team is doing an amazing job hand-raising the cubs — they will be bottle-fed for 12 weeks.”
There are fewer than 4,000 Amur tigers in the wild today, according to National Geographic, with the species listed as endangered.
The Indianapolis Zoo said that because there are fewer than 100 Amur tigers in accredited zoos, these cubs are essential “to maintaining a healthy genetic and sustainable population.”
The tigers won’t be placed in a public exhibition until September, but before then the zoo plans to launch a campaign looking for community input to name the “terrific trio.”
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