The new cub, transferred to the Minnesota Zoo from the Saint Louis Zoo on July 19, was born July 1 and had been hand-reared since her birth.
To ensure the best socialization, animal care staff from both the Saint Louis Zoo and the Minnesota Zoo, along with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Tiger Species Survival Plan Coordinator, decided the new cub should complete her hand-rearing at the Minnesota Zoo with its cub, born June 17.
Hand-rearing was necessary in both cases because the mothers did not successfully nurse the cubs.
After landing at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, with transportation provided through an in-kind donation by Delta Air Lines, the tiger cub was brought directly to the Minnesota Zoo where she was given an examination by veterinarians.
She then joined the Zoo’s resident tiger cub in their secure holding area.
With both tiger cubs being hand-raised, zoo officials hope the social interaction between them enforces their natural tiger behaviors.
“Working with the Saint Louis Zoo to provide the best social situation for these cubs has been a highlight of my zoo career,” said Diana Weinhardt, the Minnesota Zoo’s Northern Trail supervisor. “We are doing everything we can to make this the best possible situation.”
For now, the tiny tigers are not on exhibit, but you can watch all the action 24 hours a day on the zoo’s webcam.