Six Flags Welcomes New Siberian Tiger Cubs (video)
Six Flags Great Adventure is welcoming five new cuddly additions to the Wild Safari!
Siberian tiger Nadya is the proud mother of an extremely rare litter of five cubs. While most tiger births range from two to four cubs, this uncommon birth is also significant because as an endangered species, Nadya’s litter –her third–is equivalent to 1 percent of the world’s wild Siberian tiger population.
The recent births have doubled the population at Six Flags, and all are healthy and growing since their birthdate of May 2. One female cub weighed only 2.5 pounds, the typical birthweight. The remaining cubs—three girls and one boy—tipped the scales at a healthy 6 pounds.
The team brought the tiniest cub to the clinic, where she remained in an incubator and received around-the-clock bottle feedings until she began to thrive. “Without human intervention, she would not have survived,” said Six Flags Veterinarian Dr. Ken Keiffer, who also noted the grim survival rate of wild tigers at 50 percent.
Siberian tigers, also known as Amur tigers, are critically endangered with an estimated wild population of only 500 due to poaching, hunting and habitat loss, according to a release. As the largest cats in the world, they average 11 feet long with a three-foot tail. Despite originating from snowy regions such as Russia, China and North Korea where a white coat may help them blend in with their surroundings, they bear a bold orange and black coat with a unique stripe pattern. They are powerful, solitary carnivores.
“Nadya’s cubs help ensure the survival of this precious species for at least two more decades,” Dr. Keiffer said. “At Six Flags, we aim to teach our guests about conservation, and we hope it inspires them to help preserve these and other amazing animals here on Earth.”