On July 10, at the Philadelphia Zoo, a female Amur tiger gave birth to a litter of 5 cubs. Everyone wasn't celebrating though. Two of the cubs were stillborn, a third died in an accident and the fourth died from a medical complication. That left only one female. Zoya.
In spite of being a tiny miracle, Zoya was rejected by her mother, 10-year-old Koosaka. This behavior is somewhat typical of first-time tiger moms.
That's when the Philadelphia Zoo's animal care team stepped in to raise the cub. With only 500 Amur tigers left in the wild, zookeepers weren't about to allow this tiger cub to die like her siblings.
They bottle fed her and kept watch of her around the clock. But with as much care as they provided her something was still missing.
Zoo staff knew she needed siblings to thrive.
“With this single cub, we knew that the best scenario for her was to find an opportunity for her to grow up with other tigers,” said Dr. Andy Baker, COO of the Philadelphia Zoo.
See what they did on the next page to help this cub.