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 hbraithwaite@hoglezoo.org
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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