Nadya, a Siberian tiger, gave birth to an extremely rare litter of five cuddly cubs earlier this year at Six Flags Wild Safari.
While most tiger births range from two to four cubs, this uncommon birth is also significant because as an endangered species, Nadya’s litter is equivalent to one1 percent of the world’s wild Siberian tiger population.
During the cubs’ first health checkup at three weeks of age, the Six Flags Veterinary Team noted that one female cub weighed only 2.5 pounds, the typical birth weight.
The remaining cubs—three girls and one boy—tipped the scales at a healthy 6 pounds. The team brought the tiniest cub to the clinic, where she remained in an incubator and received around-the-clock bottle feedings until she began to thrive.
“Without human intervention, she would not have survived,” said Six Flags Veterinarian Dr. Ken Keiffer, who also noted the grim survival rate of wild tigers at 50 percent.
Six Flags Wild Safari is an attraction boasting 1,200 animals from six continents including elephants, rhinos, tigers, giraffes, lions, and many more all living at Great Adventure in Jackson Township, New Jersey.
Siberian tigers, also known as Amur tigers, are critically endangered with an estimated wild population of only 500 due to poaching, hunting and habitat loss.
As the largest cats in the world, they average 11 feet long with a three-foot tail.
Despite originating from snowy regions such as Russia, China and North Korea where a white coat may help them blend in with their surroundings, they bear a bold orange and black coat with a unique stripe pattern. They are powerful, solitary carnivores.
“Nadya’s cubs help ensure the survival of this precious species for at least two more decades,” Dr. Keiffer said. “At Six Flags, we aim to teach our guests about conservation, and we hope it inspires them to help preserve these and other amazing animals here on Earth.”
Six Flags Wild Safari doubled its Siberian tiger population with this most recent birth. Guests can see Nadya and four of her cubs in the safari’s Tigris Asiana section of the Drive-Thru Adventure in the coming weeks.
The littlest cub will remain in the veterinary clinic for the next few months.
The Wild Safari offers additional unique experiences to see Nadya and her cubs: