Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo introduces 2 rare Amur Tiger cubs

BRIDGEPORT --  Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo provided a first in-person look Thursday at the rare Amur tiger cubs born at the Zoo.

The Beardsley Zoo said two of a litter of four cubs survived after their mother, Changbai, neglected them, causing Zoo staff to step in. Since their birth on November 25, 2017, they have been cared for around the clock at the Zoo’s Animal Health Care Center.

Zoo Director Gregg Dancho introduced the cubs, joined by Zoo Deputy Director Don Goff, a Co-Chairman of the Felid Taxon Advisory Group that oversees conservation efforts for the Association of Zoos and Aquarium’s accredited institutions. Zookeepers Chris Barker and Bethany Thatcher and Vet Tech Jenny Gordon brought the tiger cubs out from the nursery for their introduction.

The cubs will remain in the Health Care Center for the next two months, and will be on exhibit in spring—most likely in April, Goff said.

"Amur tigers are a critically endangered species that is rapidly disappearing from wild areas. The cubs’ survival is an important step that contributes to the genetic diversity of Amur tiger conservation worldwide. Over the last century, tiger numbers have fallen by about 95 percent, and tigers now survive in 40 percent less of the area they occupied just a decade ago. Poaching, habitat destruction and climate change have all taken a toll on the tiger population," said the Zoo.