The new life for Amur tiger cubs

Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Moscow, Russia
Two of four tiger cubs, saved in the period from the beginning of the year by IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare - www.ifaw.org) and Federal Governmental Administraion Special Inspection “Tiger” on Primorye Territory, have arrived in Moscow on Wednesday. The tiger cubs have been delivered from Vladivostok to Moscow by air, in Moscow they were met by Moscow Zoo workers. Later, one of the tiger cubs will be transferred to the zoo of Penza, and the other to the Swedish Zoo "Norden Arc". The first cub found in winter, named Lapka, had been transferred to the zoo in Novosibirsk on 8th of June. The new place of residence for the eldest tiger cub named Baryshnya (she’s almost one year old) will be defined a little bit later.
Experts think these animals cannot be released. First of all, because there is no rehabilitation center for Amur tigers in the Russian Far East.

“It was good we could timely start financing those orphaned tiger cubs. The last winter was a very difficult period for the Amur tiger population. Since the last autumn we have had six cases when tiger cubs got orphaned – their mothers either died or did not return under some reasons to their cubs, two of which died."

On the 1st of February woodcutters found the little female tiger cub, without mother, on one of the taiga plots of the Khabarovsk Territory . It seemed she had wandered in the forest for a long time, and was caught by a steel trap, because her leg was seriously injured. On the middle finger of the right foreleg of the tiger cub the first phalange bone was broken by the steel trap, the second jutted out. By order of the Special Inspection “Tiger”, the surgeons from Vladivostok’s clinic “Alex” arrived to help the animal, and, to avoid blood poisoning, ablated two phalanges. After that, the tiger cub had been delivered to the Razdolnoye Village near Vladivostok, to the senior governmental inspector Oleg Grienko's private town house, which actually became the animal rehabilitation base. Due to her injured leg, the tiger cub got the name "Lapka" (“Little paw” in Russian). In June Lapka was 8 months old.

On the 17th of February two other tiger cubs (also females) joined Lapka. They were picked up by loggers and a driver near one of roads in Chuguyevsky region of the Primorye Territory,. As tiger cubs got a bit stronger, they received names Constantia and Sparta. At this moment, the females are 6 months old.

The last of the four tiger cubs was found on 9th of March in Kavalerovsky region of the Primorye Territory. Seeking some food, the tiger cub came into Bogopol village, crushed a dog, hid with the dog in the doghouse, and was extracted from there by workers of Special Inspection "Tiger". No traces of a mature female had been found near the village. The tiger cub was very famished; experts were not sure of her survival. Being about 9 months old, she weighed just 40 kg, and she didn't eat. The animal had been spoon-fed with minced meat and received injections of vitamins by instillation. Now the tiger cub named Baryshnya (Young Lady in Russian) got cured completely and there is no reason to worry about her health. At the instance of IFAW, Claudia Shoene, the veterinary surgeon from the Zoological Society of London, examined all the tiger cubs and microchipped them for further identification.

The International Fund for Animal Welfare allocated money for feeding and curing of the tiger cubs, as well as for construction of two open-air enclosures to improve keeping of them.

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