Tiger cub update
30 July 2009
A TIGER cub born at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm is being hand reared after being rejected by his mum.
Six-year-old Bengal tiger, Tira, gave birth to three cubs on July 29 at the Wraxall attraction but unfortunately two were stillborn.
The third, which was born weighing just 2lb 3oz and is still very weak, is now being looked after by keepers behind the scenes.
He is being fed a mixture of formula milk, protein powder, Jersy Milk, Cod Liver Oil and vitamin drops in the hope of keeping his strength up.
These feeds have to be done every hour and the task is being split between the three tiger keepers.
Head keeper Chris Wilkinson said: “Tira began her contractions mid-afternoon and gave birth approximately 1.30pm.
“Tira did nothing to harm the stillborn cubs – it is just one of those sad and unfortunate things.
“The third cub is alive but due to the first two cubs being stillborn Mum got confused and she has since rejected him.
“The cub is quite fragile and it is a delicate time.”
Hand-rearing animals can be a tricky job, which can leave the baby more susceptible to disease as it is not receiving the antibodies produced from the mum’s milk.
As a result, everything around the cub has to be constantly disinfected making the whole process quite exhausting.
Female tigers Kushkja and Tira arrived at Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm a month ago and were recently joined by two-year-old male Tanvir.
They have already helped to enhance the education programme at the facility – helping people to learn about global conservation programmes.
However, visitors to the farm will not be able to see the tiger cub for the foreseeable future while the keepers work to ensure he gains more strength.
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