Tiger Cub Update

It’s hard to believe that our tiger triplets are almost 10 months old! Jan and I love having them here in the Feline/Primate house. They have really been a blast to watch grow and help through all the changes they have experienced. They now weigh above 70 lbs, so are about one quarter of what they will be full grown. They have learned how to move around the building like our adult cats and they LOVE going outside. They have had fun playing in the pool these hot days we have had.

They have been developing their personalities, too. Ameliya is the most relaxed and generally friendly, Kira is very energetic, and Savelii is the most reserved but takes charge. If there is something Savelii wants, she gets it! They still are very close to each other and sleep together in a tiger huddle. None of them like to be kept alone for long. Sometimes their dad, Sivaki, will be across the way from them in the exhibits and they chuff at each other.

We have to separate them to feed so everybody gets the proper amount of food. Tigers don’t share their food very well, even with their siblings, so it keeps them from arguing about it. We have begun their behavior training program. We use positive reinforcement to work on getting them to allow us to do things like trim their nails and give them vaccinations. I have the privilege of being Ameliya’s trainer. Keepers Jake, Amy and Annie also work with them training their first foundation behaviors. We want to get them off to a good start. If they are not on exhibit in the afternoon, we are probably training.

By the end of the day, after they’ve played outside, eaten their dinner, hung out with the keepers and had a good training session, they are pretty tired. When the keepers are ready to leave at 4:30, the cubs are usually snoozing inside their exhibit charging up for the next day!

Amur Tiger Cubs at Potter Park Zoo

Amur Tiger Cubs at Potter Park Zoo

From a few weeks to 10 months - that's quite a difference!