On May 27, the Indianapolis Zoo’s 7-year-old Amur tiger Zoya gave birth to triplets. The trio consists of one female cub (the first one born) and two males. The father is 14-year-old Pavel.
Zoya was born here at the Zoo in 2014 and is a first-time mom. When Zoya delivered baby number one, she was tending to the cub, but still showed signs of labor. It was necessary for the Veterinary staff to deliver the two other cubs by C-section. The cubs weighed in at around 2 pounds each.
Zoya is well and healing, and the cubs are healthy and enjoying the TLC from the animal care team.
It is unlikely the cubs will ever be introduced to or in the same space with Zoya. Tigers are solitary by nature and Zoya is not raising them. Our animal care team is doing an amazing job hand-raising the cubs – they will be bottle-fed for 12 weeks.
The birth of Amur tiger cubs is extremely important. With fewer than 100 Amur tigers in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, our cubs are important to maintaining a healthy genetic and sustainable population.
In the wild, habitat loss, human-tiger conflict and poaching are leading to declines in Amur tiger populations. They’ve lost almost 95% of their territories – one tiger has a large individual territory.
The Zoo will launch a community campaign in July to help name the cubs. Watch for that on social media. We will also put out weekly updates on the terrific tiger trio. The cubs will make their public debut at about 16 weeks in mid-September.