Two tiger cubs on their way to Nay Aug
If on your next trip to the Genesis Wildlife Center your kids or grandkids turn to you and ask, “Where do baby tigers come from?” don’t be afraid to look them in the eye and give an earnest, grown-up answer — Oklahoma.
Two new tiger cubs are on their way to the Nay Aug Park wildlife sanctuary, where a beloved Siberian tiger died in May.
The approximately 11-week-old cubs, a boy and a girl, are being donated by the G.W. Exotic Animal Park, a conservancy and educational zoo in Wynnewood, Okla.
After the death of 15-year-old Reba, a park favorite since 2003, Mayor Chris Doherty approached Margaret Miller, the center’s director, and said it was up to her if she wanted to get another tiger. Ms. Miller said she was undecided but quickly convinced by the overwhelming number of cards and letters from kids and visitors.
“The children really showed great compassion and empathy, beyond belief,” Ms. Miller said.
As Ms. Miller spoke on the phone Monday at the start of a 1,500-mile trip home with two tigers in the back seat, the cubs could be heard roaring their 20-pound roars. They will arrive at Nay Aug later this week, after clearing a veterinarian.
To make room, the wildlife center will temporarily partition its cougar pen, Ms. Miller said. Mr. Doherty said the tigers would be welcomed with a contest to name them.
The cubs were born a week apart, said Joe Schreibvogel, owner of G.W. Exotic Animal Park. Three generations back, their grandparents were rescue animals from a defunct zoo in Texas.
The transfer to Scranton was two months in the making, and Mr. Schreibvogel said his park would check in on the adoptees once a year.
The new cubs are both endangered Indochinese tigers, a smaller and darker subspecies than their Siberian cousins, though at 400 pounds still not something you want romping through your yard.
It’ll be a while until they get that big, but the pint-size cats are sure to draw a crowd, and there will likely be no shortage of baby pictures.
BY JEREMY G. BURTON
Published: Tuesday, July 22, 2008 4:40 AM EDT