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Rare tiger cubs unveiled at Winnipeg Zoo

Hilary Hagerman, staff writer
October 7, 2011 — Two Amur tiger cubs were unveiled at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg on Monday.

One of the cubs with their mother, Kendra
One of the cubs with their mother, Kendra

A pair of two-month-old tiger cubs made a purr-fect debut at the Assiniboine Park Zoo in Winnipeg on Monday.

The two Amur tiger cubs, one male and one female, were born at the end of July. But Monday was the first day the public could see them.

“We are extremely excited to have the cubs make their debut...” said Tim Sinclair-Smith, Director of Zoological Operations for the zoo. “We know that the public has been patiently waiting to see them and we couldn't be happier to introduce them to the community....”

The two Amur tiger, also known as Siberian tigers, were born on July 29. Like domestic cats, tigers are born with their eyes and ears shut and require time to develop before leaving their mother's side. These cubs have spent the last several weeks in the den, but now are ready to finally start exploring their habitat.

Amur tigers are a seriously endangered species -- only about 500 currently survive in the wild. The Assiniboine Zoo is working to ensure the survival of Amur tigers through participation in the species survival program.

The cubs were a hit and are doing extremely well in their habitat. There's only one problem -- they still need names.

The zoo looked to the public for help to vote for their favourite names on their Facebook page. After over 2,000 votes Sarma was chosen as the female name and Reka as the male. Reka is the Russian word for river and Sarma is a specific river in Russia.

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