Oh, baby! Indianapolis Zoo welcomes tiger triplets

INDIANAPOLIS — The year of the Tiger has brought three new additions to the Indianapolis Zoo. The zoo announced Thursday that its 7-year-old Amur tiger, Zoya, gave birth to triplets.

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In a news release announcing the multiple births, the Indianapolis Zoo said the first-born tiger was a female cub and she was joined by two brothers. Pavel, 14, is the father of the triplets.

Zoya was born at the Indianapolis Zoo in 2014, and this is her first litter of cubs, the zoo said. Officials said that while Zoya was able to deliver the first tiger naturally, veterinarians had to intervene to help the two other cubs out via cesarean section. The cubs each weighed approximately 2 pounds at birth.

Introducing our Tiger Cub Trio! On May 27, our 7-year-old Amur tiger Zoya gave birth to triplets. The trio consists of one female cub (the first one born) and two males. The father is 14-year-old Pavel. Zoya was born here at the Zoo in 2014 and is a first-time mom. When Zoya delivered baby number one, she was tending to the cub, but still showed signs of labor. It was necessary for the Veterinary staff to deliver the two other cubs by C-section. The cubs weighed in at around 2 pounds each. Zoya is well and healing, and the cubs are healthy and enjoying the TLC from the animal care team. Watch for weekly updates on the trio as they grow and growl, and your chance to help name the cubs! #tiger #yearofthetiger #savetigers #cutenessOVERLOAD

Posted by Indianapolis Zoo on Thursday, June 30, 2022

The zoo said that Zoya is “well and healing” and that the cubs are healthy, but that the cubs will likely never be introduced to or placed in the same space with their mother. The zoo explained by saying, “Tigers are solitary by nature and Zoya is not raising them. Our animal care team is doing an amazing job hand-raising the cubs — they will be bottle-fed for 12 weeks.”

There are fewer than 4,000 Amur tigers in the wild today, according to National Geographic, with the species listed as endangered.

The Indianapolis Zoo said that because there are fewer than 100 Amur tigers in accredited zoos, these cubs are essential “to maintaining a healthy genetic and sustainable population.”

The tigers won’t be placed in a public exhibition until September, but before then the zoo plans to launch a campaign looking for community input to name the “terrific trio.”