OKLAHOMA CITY – Following a successful ‘adoption’ of a rare tiger cub, the Oklahoma City Zoo is giving visitors a unique glimpse of the tigers as they continue to grow.
Officials say Zoya, a female Amur tiger cub, was born on July 10 at the Philadephia Zoo. However, she was rejected by her mother and caregivers knew they had to find her an opportunity to grow up with other tigers.
As a result, the Oklahoma City Zoo offered to attempt to integrate Zoya with a litter of Sumatran tiger cubs that were born at the zoo one day before Zoya’s birth.
“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 Dr. Rebecca Snyder, curator of conservation and science with the Oklahoma City Zoo.
Officials say that although Sumatran and Amur tigers are different subspecies, they look the same as cubs.
Amazingly, the zoo says that the integration was a success.
“We are very happy that Zoya has integrated well with her new adoptive family,” said Donna Evernham, curator of carnivores and ungulates, Philadelphia Zoo. “She has made an incredible journey in her first two weeks of life and our Philadelphia Zoo team is thrilled to partner with the Oklahoma City Zoo to ensure Zoya’s well-being. With fewer than 500 Amur tigers left in the wild Zoya’s birth is significant to the entire population.”
Now, the zoo is giving visitors an inside look at the cubs as they continue to grow.
The Oklahoma City Zoo has launched its “Tiger Cub Cam” online to give guests and behind-the-scenes look at the group 24-hours-a-day.