Nadaya, a captive tigress, has accomplished two feats. She delivered an oversize litter of healthy cubs and the five youngsters equal 1% of the world’s wild Siberian population.
She is remarkable in two other ways as well. She has doubled the park’s Siberian tiger population with the fie cubs. This is also her third litter.
Siberian tigers, also known as Amur tigers. after a major river in the region, are critically endangered.
Her human assistants helped too by noticing that one of her female offspring was not thriving and likely would have died. Separation from her siblings and care and attention pulled her back. She was placed in an incubator and given round-the-clock are. She is now healthy and gaining weight. In the wild tigers usually deliver two to four cubs in a litter and perhaps 50% survive
Nadya lives at Six Flags Wild Safari in Jackson, New Jersey which boasts a 350 acre drive through safari tour. The park is divided into different wildlife sectors and visitors drive through in safari tour buses.
Park officials said the births help increase the chances of survival for the species. Most of the Amur tigers live in eastern Russia. They may also live in North Korea and China, but their status in those countries is unknown. Russia works to protect their tigers whose numbers have been stable or slightly increasing. Like all tigers they face threats from poaching and habitat loss and the traditional medical trade.
At the beginning of the 20th Century there were an estimated 100,000 tigers in the world in nine species throughout Asia and on the verge of Europe. Today the estimate is that about 5,000 remain in the wild. More than one-half are in India with others scattered in small pockets in Asia. India and Nepal have had success in growing their tiger populations and Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Bhutan, Bangladesh, China and Russia all support populations.
There were 9 species of tigers in 1900 and three (perhaps four) are now extinct. The Caspian, Javan and Bali tigers were all extinct by the 1970’s. Recently it was noted that Amur and Caspian tigers are genetically very close and may be the same species.
Five or six species remain, The Amur, Bengal (Indian) Sumatran, Indo-Chinese and Malayan all have wild populations. The South China tiger is at the very least critically endangered. China sought to eradicate them in the 1970’s and many experts think they succeeded. There are still reports of a few individuals and China may be breeding survivors.