Posted November 2016
The Zoo’s new Amur tiger cubs, one male and two females, are now 2 months old! At around 4 weeks of age, zookeepers found that the male cub was not gaining as much weight as they would like to see, and had also developed an abscess on one of his legs (possibly due to a lack of immunity).
The cub was transferred to the Zoo’s Animal Health Center (AHC) the week of October 10. The Zoo’s vet staff cultured and flushed the abscess, and the cub was given a course of antibiotics. He returned to Big Cat Country on October 24.
When it becomes necessary to remove newborn animals from the family group within a zoo setting, the mother may not always accept the animal when placed back into the group. Mother Amba has shown excellent maternal care with all of her offspring. However, because the male cub had an infection and there can be many unknowns in reuniting him with mom after so much time had passed, staff determined there were too many risks in putting them back together. Female tigers also have the potential to injure offspring if reintroductions are attempted. The primary concern of the Zoo’s animal care staff is to avoid any risk of injury to the cub.
The male cub is now being hand-raised by zookeepers, who are encouraged to see that he is gaining weight. He is bottle-fed four times per day (as of November 3) and is eating meat very well. Keepers regularly place the male cub with his two siblings for socialization and exercise.
Click on the thumbnails below to browse through photos.