With the number of threatened animals on the rise, it’s always a breath of fresh air when one of them gives birth.
Protecting these creatures is critical in most sanctuaries and wildlife habitats. The struggle against extinction is one that should never be ignored.
This story is about the Amur tigers.
They used to be called Panthera tigris altaica, but now most people call them the Siberian tiger instead.
The Amur tiger is one of the world’s largest cats.
Sadly, there are only around 500 to 550 of these tigers in Russia’s Far East, with a few crossing the border into China and North Korea.
The Toronto Zoo was overjoyed to announce the birth of two Amur tigers under its care on May 3, 2021.
Mazyria, affectionately known as “Mazy” by zoo employees and volunteers, gave birth to three gorgeous cubs during the night of April 30, 2021, till the following morning.
Mazy’s been expecting for 104 days.
“Mom and cubs are doing well; Wildlife Care Keepers have been regularly watching them using remote cameras to avoid disruption—a vital aspect in ensuring that the mom and cubs connect successfully,” the zoo said.
“So far, Mazyria has been a great mom. She feeds and cleans the cubs every day, but the first month is very important for these new arrivals.”
Mazy is one of the oldest Amur tigers to successfully birth offspring at the age of 14 years old, according to the Species Survival Plan (SSP).
The Amur Tiger SSP protects the genetic health of the Amur tiger habitat in an attempt to keep the species alive.
“This birth is a vital addition to a genetically healthy Amur tiger population,” stated Dolf De Jong, CEO of the Toronto Zoo. “Amur tigers are increasingly threatened by habitat loss and unlawful killing.”
He said it is vital to educate the population about their predicament in the wild and do all we can to minimize the risks they face and stem population declines. “By working together, we can make a difference!”
However, because of health concerns, two of the newborn cubs did not survive.
Ready to meet #TOTigerCub? 🐯👀
Starting today, you can catch a glimpse of her from 10:00am to 5:00pm daily within the Amur tiger habitat 🐯 We do anticipate long lineups to see this little one as a limited number of guests will be able to view the cub at a time 🐾 pic.twitter.com/ctwnZxtCoA
— The Toronto Zoo (@TheTorontoZoo) July 12, 2021
The Toronto Zoo made room for a unique exhibit in which an Amur tiger cub was presented for the first time in many years.
Visitors may look at the adorable cub from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
The media were given a first peek at the zoo’s newest addition in a video. He had not yet been given a name.
The staff affectionately referred to him as “Big.”
The video shows Big approaching his mom to play with her. The mom tiger quickly granted her son’s wish. Who could possibly resist that cute cub?
Big rolled around and embraced his mother while the tigress licked her cub affectionately.
It was a sight to see!
Despite their youth, we can tell the two have a strong affinity.
Even though the loss of the other 2 cubs was heartbreaking, it has been a delight to witness the extremely healthy Big enjoy his time at the Toronto Zoo.
We can only pray that the Amur tiger will one day be removed from the list of endangered species.
Watch the video below to see Big having fun with his mother, Mazy!