CLEVELAND — Prepare yourself for cuteness overload! Officials with the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo have announced the birth of two Amur tiger cubs, and with their arrival late in 2020 they are the first to be born in Cleveland in 20 years.
“Over the past few weeks, the cubs have been bottle-fed five times a day and have been gaining weight as well as reaching developmental milestones including opening their eyes and beginning to walk,” zoo officials said Thursday. “Once they are a few months old, having gained adequate strength and fitness, they will make their home at the Zoo’s Rosebrough Tiger Passage.”
The male and female were born overnight between Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Both are currently being cared for behind-the-scenes at the Zoo’s Sarah Allison Steffee Center for Zoological Medicine. Zoo officials will announce details on how the public can help name the tigers at a later date.
“Both mom, Zoya, and dad, Hector, are doing well and can be visited at the Zoo’s Rosebrough Tiger Passage throughout the year,” officials said.
“While tigers are solitary animals, mother tigers typically raise their young for their first two years. However, it is not uncommon for first-time mother tigers to become overwhelmed with this new life experience and the Zoo’s Animal Care team closely monitored all maternal behaviors following birth.
"After thorough observation, Zoya displayed minimal signs of maternal care, requiring the cubs to be raised separately with the help of Zoo veterinary and husbandry care experts.”
Amur tigers, according to zoo officials, are an endangered species with an estimated population of only 400-500 remaining in their native range in the far eastern side of Russia and Northeastern China.