TINY TIGER TRIO MAKES PUBLIC DEBUT TODAY AT HOGLE ZOO
Posted On Tuesday, August 25, 2009
(Salt Lake City, UT) - Utah's Hogle Zoo is thrilled to announce that three critically endangered male Amur tiger cubs have been born in Asian Highlands to parents Basha and Kazek. Since the June 02, 2009 birth, the three tiny cubs have been out of visitors' view while they were getting stronger and bonding with their mother. Media opportunities for interviews, photos and footage will be available today (August 25) from 9:30 until 11 am. The cubs will also be on public display as of today.
For the past couple of months these tiger brothers have become increasingly active and Basha is kept busy nursing and caring for her three active and playful cubs. Although this is first litter for her, she is proving to be an excellent mother. "With first-time moms we prepare ourselves to deal with the unknown. But Basha took on the three cubs like she was a natural; she was an extremely caring, protective, great mom from day one," says Hogle Zoo feline keeper Jill VanMilligen. She adds, "Basha was one of three cubs born at Hogle Zoo in 2003 and now watching her become a mom herself is incredible." This is the first time that Kazek, who arrived at Hogle Zoo in 2006 from the Buffalo Zoo, has sired a litter.
The Zoo's Amur tigers, formerly known as Siberian tigers, are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP). The Tiger SSP is responsible for maintaining a genetically healthy population of tigers in North American zoos. There are approximately 130 Amur tigers in AZA-accredited zoos and about 500 living in small populations of far eastern Russia and northeast China. Loss of habitat due to logging activities, human encroachment and poaching are the main threats to their survival in the wild.
Zoo tigers are extremely important ambassadors for their counterparts in the wild. In fact when these cubs were born in June, Hogle Zoo was the only AZA institution this year to effectively breed and have successful rearing by the mother. According Hogle Zoo Assistant Director- Programs, Kimberly Davidson, "This birth is a testament not only to Hogle Zoo's excellence in animal care but also our commitment to preserving Amur tigers." In zoos, visitors can connect with big cats like Amur tigers and become inspired to learn about and help preserve their future in the wild.
Amur Tiger Facts: The Amur tiger, formerly known as the Siberian tiger, is listed as a critically endangered species. Amur tigers are the largest of all the cat species, with the males weighing in between 400 and 650 pounds and measuring up to 11 feet in length. In the wild, they are found living in the snow-covered forests of eastern Russia and northeast China.
Visit Hogle Zoo online at www.hoglezoo.org or for more information, contact Community Relations Coordinator Holly Braithwaite by email at email@example.com or call (801) 584-1729.
About the Association of Zoos & Aquariums: Utah's Hogle Zoo is one of only 218 institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA). Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you, and a better future for all living things. AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation, and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information visit www.aza.org.
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