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Female Amur Tigers,
Bernadette and Eloise, Leave MCZ

Amur Tigers
November 2016

Posted March 2019

At the end of February, the Milwaukee County Zoo’s two female Amur tigers, Bernadette and Eloise, left for their new home at the Oregon Zoo. The two females, and one male, Kash, were born at MCZ in September 2016. Kash will remain here, living in Big Cat Country with females, Amba and Tula.

Amur Tigers
January 2017

The Species Survival Plan®, which manages the population of a particular species within AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums)-accredited institutions, recommended they both be placed at the Oregon Zoo to continue to ensure the diversity of their genetics. The move also frees needed space in MCZ’s current collection of three Amur tigers.

Keepers comment the move was bittersweet, as they first saw the cubs on ultrasound when they were one month away from delivery – watching their tiny heartbeats.  Keepers stayed up until 3 a.m. the day they were born, watching mom, Amba, deliver, groom, nurse and care for them and their brother. The Big Cat Country keepers lived and breathed tigers since the day all three were born.

Amur Tigers
January 2019

As cubs, they all liked to stay active and especially enjoyed playing in any kind of water. Eloise, Kash and Bernadette all loved splashing around in pools and rain, as well as playing with water from the hose.

At the time of their 1-year birthday, keepers commented Bernadette could be described as a spitfire, who does not get bossed around by anyone. At birth, she was the smallest of the three, but it was hard to tell, because she acted as the cub in charge.

Eloise, who began as the chubbiest of the three, is now tall, long and lean. She was the more playful of the two girls, and as a cub, could usually be found causing trouble with Kash. 

Amur Tigers
January 2019

MCZ keepers say in the end they’re happy for the move, as the Oregon Zoo currently has a vacant Tiger Exhibit, and Bernadette and Eloise will get A LOT of attention and space!

Keepers comment they’ll certainly miss “the girls,” and that there will definitely be a void in Big Cat Country, as none of the other animals in the building have quite the same personalities as Bernadette and Eloise.  However, they are no longer cubs, and this is their time to shine and become adults.

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