Indianapolis Zoo welcomes newborn tiger cub

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (July 29, 2014)–  There’s a new addition to the Indianapolis Zoo’s family!

The cub, whose gender is unknown at this time, is now the fourth Amur tiger at the zoo.  The cub was born on July 10 and is the first cub for the mother, 6-year-old Andrea.

Newborn Amur cubs are blind and rely on their mothers for survival.  Zookeepers said Andrea showed excellent maternal skills right away and has proven to be a terrific mother.

The newborn, who is not yet named, joins other Amur tigers, including 7-year-old Petya, the cub’s father, and 11-year-old female Cila, who was also born at the zoo.

Amur tigers, once one of the largest cat species, are an endangered species due to poaching and deforestation.  It is estimated less than 500 survive in the wild and are scattered across far east Russia. Once known as Siberian tigers, 155 Amur tigers currently in Association of Zoos and Aquariums facilities in the United States.

The Zoo supports the conservation efforts of Dr. Linda Kerley and the Amur Tiger Conservation Project, which works to study and protect Amur tigers in the Lazovsky Preserve in Primorsky Krai. Recently, with the help of funding from the Zoo, the ATCP tiger tracking program identified four new litters of cubs in the reserve, a positive sign for this endangered species.

Zoo officials said the cub and mother Andrea are doing well and will remain in a private indoor area for several weeks.  The public will soon have a chance to weigh in on the newborn’s name through a poll on the zoo’s Facebook page.