From Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo:
Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo plans to celebrate their Amur tiger cubs’ first birthday on Sunday, November 25th, with a number of special events and activities scheduled for the day. The birth of Reka and Zeya on November 25, 2017, began a critical life-saving effort for the two cubs, with round-the-clock feedings by Animal Care staff, and initially, only a 25 percent chance of survival.
The tiger cubs’ first birthday will be marked with the sale of Team Reka, Team Zeya, or Team Tiger Cubs t-shirts, cake and hot cocoa for Zoo guests, free tiger bookmarks for the first 500 people through the gate that day, and two encore presentations of Fostering Felines, a presentation from Animal Care Specialist Bethany Thatcher at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. in the Research Station. Tiger Talks, highlighting the plight of Amur tigers in the wild, will be held in front of the habitat throughout the day.
Amur Tiger Cubs’ First Birthday
· Free tiger cub bookmark for first 500 guests in the gate
· 10:00 a.m.: Fostering Felines Lecture presented by Animal Care Specialist Bethany Thatcher in the Research Station
· Noon: Cake, hot cocoa and hot cider for guests, with surprise announcement by Zoo Director Gregg Dancho; Birthday enrichment gifts given to the tigers.
· 2:00 p.m.: Fostering Felines Lecture presented by Animal Care Specialist Bethany Thatcher in the Research Station
· Tables will be set up at the tiger habitat offering t-shirts for sale, as a donation to the new habitat. $24 adults, $20 youth. Team Reka, Team Zeya, or Team Tiger Cubs. In addition, small plush will be sold for a $10 donation.
· Tiger Talks will be held all day in front of the tiger habitat.
· The Gift Shop will extend Shop Small Saturday’s 20% discount on all merchandise throughout Sunday, including all things tiger-related.
Beardsley Zoo, 1875 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport
Sunday, November 25, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Reka and Zeya represent an important step forward in maintaining the genetic diversity of Amur tigers worldwide. According to the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) statistics, tigers are thought to occupy less than seven percent of their original range. Threatened by habitat loss and degradation, poaching, tiger-human conflict, and loss of prey, four of nine subspecies have disappeared from the wild. The future of the Amur tiger has been a major concern of the world’s zoos for many years.
All tigers now have protected status in the wild, but that doesn’t guarantee their safety. A breeding program recommendation comes from the Species Survival Plan (SSP), administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums in accredited zoos. Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo was home to the parents, a male, Petya, and a female, Changbai, who joined the Zoo family last winter. Managed by the SSP, inter-regional transfers are arranged with careful attention to gene diversity in the hope that successful breeding will take place. Chang was sent to Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo as an excellent genetic match to the Zoo’s resident male tiger, who has since been transferred to another zoo.
About Amur tigers
The Amur, or Siberian tiger, is a rare subspecies of tiger, and the largest cat in the world. Adult male tigers can weigh up to 675 pounds, with females weighing up to 350 pounds. Reka and Zeya each weigh approximately 170 pounds today. Similar to people’s fingerprints, no two tigers have the same striped pattern. Amur tigers differ from other tigers with fewer, paler stripes, and a mane that helps to keep them warm. They live in southeast Russia as well as small areas of China and North Korea. They live for 10-15 years in the wild, and up to 22 years in captivity.