“While they differ as a subspecies, raising the Malay cub with the two Amur tiger cubs enables essential behavior and social welfare.”
CLEVELAND – Just a few weeks after the announcement of the Birth of two endangered Amur tiger cubs, the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo now welcomes the addition of a 2 month old Malay tiger cub hailing from the Tulsa Zoo.
The female tiger cub – called Indrah – has joined the two Amur tiger cubs born at the Cleveland Zoo in late December to “form a social group of two endangered subspecies of tigers”.
According to zoo officials, the move was driven by the partnerships of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Tulsa Zoo, and coordinated by the Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP) program.
“Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and Tulsa Zoo recently celebrated the incredible births of endangered baby tigers,” said Dr. Chris Kuhar, Executive Director of Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. “Socializing tigers at a young age is incredibly important, and raising these cubs as part of a unique social group enables them to develop skills and behaviors together.”
Zoo officials say the mothers of these tigers did not show maternal attachment to support their offspring.
“After close monitoring, it was found that the health and survival of all three boys were at risk,” said zoo officials. “While they differ as a subspecies, rearing the Malay cub with the two Amur tiger cubs enables essential behavior and social welfare.”
The cubs are currently being hand-reared by a dedicated team of animal care experts behind the scenes at the zoo’s Sarah Allison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine. As soon as they are a few months old and have gained sufficient strength and fitness, they will find their home together in the zoo’s Rosebrough Tiger Passage.
Joe Barkowski, vice president of Animal Conservation & Science at Tulsa Zoo, says the decision to transfer a cub is never made lightly.
“In this case it was clear that moving was the best decision to make to ensure that our youngster had the opportunity to benefit from belonging to a social group. The transition will also allow our zoo to continue to focus on our SSP breeding recommendation for our Malay tigers in 2021 to ensure their sustainable population in AZA accredited facilities. “
Adult Amur tigers are the largest tigers among the various subspecies and also the most cold-tolerant, as their native range includes the Far Eastern side of Russia and northeastern China, according to zoo officials. Malay tigers are a smaller subspecies of tigers that are native to the Malaysian peninsula and the southern tip of Thailand.