Tiger cubs that made headlines celebrate 1st birthday at Oklahoma City Zoo

OKLAHOMA CITY – Four tiger cubs at the Oklahoma City Zoo have come a long way.

Officials say Zoya, a female Amur tiger cub, was born on July 10, 2017 at the Philadephia Zoo. However, she was rejected by her mother and caregivers at the zoo immediately began bottle feeding her.

“With this single cub, we knew that the best scenario for her was to find an opportunity for her to grow up with other tigers,” said Dr. Andy Baker, COO of the Philadelphia Zoo.

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.

Three Sumatran tiger cubs with Amur tiger cub Zoya on scale. Zoya 2nd from left., Photo by Gretchen Cole

Amazingly, the integration was a success.

This weekend, the Oklahoma City Zoo held a birthday party for Eko, Ramah, Gusti and Zoya to celebrate their first birthday.

Although they have grown quite a bit, they are still playful and rambunctious.

The cats were given boxes to tear up, new toys and delicious treats for the celebration.