These sisters are doing it for themselves, with a little help from Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo.
The two tigers cubs were born at the zoo on Nov. 25 as part of a litter of four. Unfortunately, two of the cubs did not make it. After giving birth, 10-year-old mom Changbai showed little interest in caring for her daughters, so the zoo stepped in and moved the unnamed tiger babies to the facility’s hospital.
There, the sisters now enjoy regular bottle feedings in an enclosure warmed to a toasty 90 degrees, just how they like it.
“We are hand feeding the babies five times a day,” Beardsley Zoo Director Gregg Dancho said in a statement. “They are being given a feline milk replacement formula, supplemented with vitamins. They are a little underweight, possibly due to the age of their mother and the fact that there were four kittens in the litter.”
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Because the cubs are still fragile and in need of round-the-clock care, they will not make their public debut for some time. Thankfully, the zoo is sharing photos and videos of the new arrivals, who love to cuddle up together.
While the cubs still need a few weeks before they are considered out of the woods, the zoo is cautiously optimistic about the animals’ future.
“The birth of these kittens brings a few more precious tigers to the population, which can help ensure the survival of these majestic animals for future generations,” Dancho said.
Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers, are incredibly rare. This species only inhabits 7% of the original range they once roamed in the wild. Without conservation and care, habitat loss and poaching could send this beautiful big cat into extinction.