Rehabilitated Russian tigers heading into the homestretch
They grow up so fast.
Three tiger cubs at the Rehabilitation Center for Rare Species in Alexeevka, Russia are heading into the ‘homestretch.’
Only three months, the final rehabilitation stage, remain until their return into the wild.
Tigers Borya and Kuzya now protect their food from the crows by hiding it in a wooden shed, showing us that they have learned how to preserve their food for numerous meals. Zolushka, or Cinderella, the recently released tigress had mastered this skill before she had been discharged last year.
Borya and Kuzya, two males, still remain very friendly with each other. They sleep next to each other and they still play together. Their games include chasing, racing and wrestling. Such games are very important for complex social animals who grow up in captivity because such play has a positive effect on mental and physical health, which must be honed before they are to be reintroduced to the wild.
We observe tolerant interactions between both littermates and non-kin. Tigers behave as familial creatures and, provided ample food resources, do not engage in conflicts with each other. Friendship between the third in the trio, Ustin, and female tigers grows stronger. Now these tigers not only rest together but also have been sharing their food over the fence.
Stay tuned as the date of release nears.
For more information about IFAW efforts to protect and rehabilitate wild tigers, visit our campaign page.