Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium introduces new Amur tiger cubs

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium gave the public a first look at their two rare, endangered Amur tiger cubs.

The cubs, a male, and a female were born in September to the zoo’s 10-year-old tiger Terney.

PHOTOS: Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium introduces new Amur tiger cubs

Shortly after the cubs were born, veterinary staff noticed Terney did not show interest in her cubs and was not making any attempts to care for them.

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Since the cubs required maternal care when they are born, zoo officials made the difficult decision to remove the cubs to save their lives.

“Removing the cubs from their mother is the last thing that we want to do,” says Dr. Ginger Sturgeon, director of animal health at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. “But after witnessing Terney’s prolonged disinterest and lack of nursing, we knew that we didn’t have a choice.”

At just 24 hours old, the cubs were brought to the Pittsburgh Zoo’s Animal Care Center. There, the veterinary team placed them in incubators to keep them warm.  The veterinary and keeper teams provided around-the-clock care for the little cubs.

At about six weeks of age, in addition to the milk formula, the young cubs were introduced to meat.

The pair continues to living at the Animal Care Center and are playing, eating and learning to grow up together.

When the cubs are about 9 weeks, they will be moved to one of the cat buildings to learn to acclimate to cooler temperatures and to be around other cats

“Our goal is to get them back with their mother or a substitute mother,” says Kathy Suthard, Lead Carnivore Keeper at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. “We are considering two options at this time. When the cubs are about 12 weeks of age, we will slowly begin introducing them to Toma, our matriarch tiger. Toma is a great mother and has successfully raised several litters. We will also explore the possibility of putting the cubs with their mom too.”