Rare tiger litter born at NJ’s Six Flags Wild Safari bumps up world population
JACKSON — Pass out the chocolate cigars and let’s celebrate! The Wild Safari at Six Flags has welcomed some new additions to its tribe.
A Siberian tiger named Nadya gave birth on May 2 to an extremely rare litter of five cubs. Most tiger births range from two to four cubs.
This phenomenal birth is significant because as an endangered species, this litter is equivalent to 1 percent of the world’s wild Siberian tiger population, according to a parks spokesperson.
“Nadya’s cubs help ensure the survival of this precious species for at least two more decades,” said Ken Keiffer, a Six Flags veterinarian, who also noted the grim survival rate of wild tigers at 50 percent.
Nadya’s latest litter, this is her third, includes four girls and one boy. During the cubs’ first health checkup at three weeks old, the parks veterinary team noted that one female cub only weighed 2.5 pounds while the other cubs tipped the scales at 6 pounds.
The tiny cub was brought to a clinic where she remains in an incubator and receives round-the-clock medical care, including bottle feedings. A Six Flags spokesperson says this will continue until she's able to thrive on her own.
“Without human intervention, she would not have survived,” Keiffer said.
Keiffer said at Six Flags, they aim to teach guests about wildlife conservation, and hopefully, it inspires them to help preserve these amazing animals.
Only about 500 Siberian tigers make up the wild population due to poaching, hunting, and habitat loss.
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, however, will remain in the vet clinic for several more months.
Nadya and her babies can also be seen during a Safari Overnight Camp Out unique experience. On July 15 and 16, guests can pitch a tent at Camp Aventura, feed giraffes and participate in other animal activities. Advance ticket sales are required and space is limited.
Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at email@example.com
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