Tiger Gives Birth to 3 Cubs at Toronto Zoo After 104-Day Pregnancy: She's an 'Exemplary Mother'
Mazyria the Amur tiger, who gave birth to three cubs in 2013, is now a mom of six after giving birth to another trio of tiger cubs on April 30 at the Toronto Zoo
The Toronto Zoo has three new arrivals!
Mazyria, a 14-year-old Amur tiger that is affectionately known as "Mazy," gave birth to three cubs last week at the Toronto Zoo after a 104-day pregnancy, according to a press release.
The first cub was born at 11:40 p.m. on Friday, while the next two cubs arrived early on Saturday morning.
Mazy and her cubs are "doing well," the zoo said. The zoo's wildlife care keepers are closely monitoring the family of four through remote cameras, which minimize any disturbances as the animals bond.
"So far, Mazyria is being an exemplary mother, nursing and grooming the cubs regularly, but the first month remains a critical time for these new arrivals," the zoo said in its press release.
The cubs are expected to have their first veterinary checkup in about six to eight weeks. At this check-up, vets will determine the sex of each cub and ensure the baby tigers are growing at a healthy rate.
This is Mazy's second litter of three cubs: her first was born in 2013 at the Granby Zoo.
According to the Toronto Zoo, Mazy is one of the oldest Amur tigers to give birth in the Species Survival Plan (SSP) population. Mazy's partner, a male tiger named Vasili, born at the Calgary Zoo in 2012, fathered the new trio of cubs.
"This birth is an important contribution to a genetically healthy Amur tiger population," Dolf DeJong, the Toronto Zoo's CEO, said in a statement. "Amur tigers are under increasing pressure due to habitat loss and illegal hunting. It is important to educate the public on their plight in the wild and do everything we can to mitigate the threats they face and halt declining populations. Together we can make a positive difference."
Mazy and Vasili were initially introduced in the winter of 2019-2020 but did not reproduce. However, the zoo's wildlife care team decided to try to pair the big cat couple together one last time before Mazy reached the end of her reproductive lifespan, according to the zoo.
After the Toronto Zoo's reproductive sciences branch tracked Mazy's reproductive cycles and saw behavioral signs of mating receptivity in the fall of 2020, the zoo's wildlife care staff reintroduced Mazy and Vasili.
Breeding between the two tigers was finally observed on Jan. 17, the zoo said, and a follow-up analysis on April 14 showed that Mazy was indeed expecting cubs.
Donations towards wildlife conservancy at the Toronto Zoo can be made here.