Tiger mom in Oklahoma accepts neglected cub born in Philly

1 Philadelphia

Philadelphia News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search

A rare Amur tiger cub neglected by her mother in Philadelphia is being nursed and apparently accepted by a Sumatran tiger in Oklahoma who recently gave birth to her own three-cub litter, officials said.



Zoya, a female Amur tiger born July 10 at the Philadelphia Zoo, arrived early Friday morning at the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden. By early Saturday afternoon, she was enjoying a long nursing session with her adoptive mother, Lola. The cub nursed again on Saturday night and Sunday.

“We continue to be cautiously optimistic that Zoya will continue to be integrated into our litter of Sumatran cubs and continue nursing with Lola,” said Barry Downer, deputy director and chief operating officer at the Oklahoma City Zoo.


“Cross-fostering in tigers is unusual, but with less than 500 Amur tigers in the wild, every cub is important for the species’ survival,” said Rebecca Snyder, the zoo’s curator of conservation and science.





Sumatran tigers also are endangered, with fewer than 500 living in the wild in Indonesia.

Accompanied by four caretakers, Zoya arrived in Oklahoma City after a 20-hour drive from Philadelphia.

While Lola temporarily left her cubs to feed, a team entered the cub den and covered Zoya in the scent of the Sumatran cubs by rubbing her with hay from the den, tiger cub urine, and even the other cubs, officials said.  When Lola returned, she began to lick and nuzzle Zoya.

The cubs will continue to bond and nurse with Lola out of public view. In six to eight weeks, the cubs will be big enough to explore their outdoor habitat.




Zoya was part of a five-cub litter at the Philadelphia Zoo. Two were stillborn, a third died in an accident, and the fourth died from medical complications. Koosaka, the 10-year-old mother, did not show maternal behavior for Zoya, so the cub was removed and hand-raised while a contingency plan was developed to have her introduced to another tiger family.













More Coverage









<![CDATA[<![CDATA[]]]]>]]>
<![CDATA[<![CDATA[]]]]>]]>
Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.


1 Philadelphia

Philadelphia News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search


Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Facebooktwitterlinkedinrssyoutube

Leave a Reply