Three endangered tiger cubs were just born at the Toronto Zoo and they're so precious
Not to be outshone by the numerous animals who gave birth to adorable youngsters at the Toronto Zoo over the course of 2020, Mazyria the resident Amur tiger just welcomed her second litter of three teeny cubs over the weekend, and zoo staff are overjoyed.
The new arrivals were born overnight on Friday into Saturday morning, according to a post the attraction shared to social media today, and are doing well while keepers keep a close eye.
The zoo also shared nearly three minutes of video footage of Mazyria, known as Mazy, taking great care of her new babies by cleaning them, nursing them and carefully watching over them.
The 14-year-old big cat is actually quite old to be giving birth — one of the oldest of her species known to in captivity as part of the Species Survival Plan, as amur tigers are sadly on the endangered list and there are fewer than 500 of them left in the wild.
Mazy's sweet little newborns are actually the first of the species born as part of the program for nearly 15 years — the last litter was in 2007, which is the same year that Amurs were finally downgraded from critically endangered to endangered status thanks to such efforts.
As the zoo states, illegal hunting and habitat loss are the main reasons species numbers have dwindled so low, but circumstances have greatly improved since the 1930s, when there were only 20-30 in the world.
We will get to know more about the cubs after their first veterinary check-up in six-to-eight weeks, and staff are keeping their fingers crossed that all will go well until then, as this first month "remains a critical time."
A total of 23 Amur tiger cubs have been raised at the zoo over the years, and this newest litter follows last year's new baby giraffe, baby camel, baby zebra, and red pandas, one of whom tragically died during those crucial first few weeks.
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