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Unusual Litter Mates Being Raised Together at Great Adventure: Adorable Tiger and Lion Cubs

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Source: Six Flags Great Adventure

Unusual Litter Mates Being Raised Together at Six Flags Great Adventure: Adorable Tiger and Lion Cubs

JACKSON, N.J. ─ January 12, 2016 ─ Spots and stripes have taken over the nursery at Six Flags Great Adventures safari as the veterinary team welcomes a Siberian tiger cub, the first tiger birth at the safari in 13 years, and an African lion cub. What makes the situation so unique is that for the first time, the team is hand raising the two fuzzy, female big cats as one litter, despite being two species that would typically never meet in the wild as they are native to different continents.


Within a week, two first-time mothers gave birth to healthy cubs but failed to care for them, so we stepped in, said Dr. Ken Keiffer, a Six Flags veterinarian. The lion was born Nov. 19 and weighed 3 lbs., and the tiger followed on Thanksgiving and weighed 2.4 lbs. The Six Flags veterinary team became surrogate mothers to the cubs, feeding them up to six times each day. According to Keiffer, the two are doing very well and have yet to be named.

Raising the cubs together helps to develop their socialization skills, and will enhance their chances of being successfully introduced to their own species at the safari when they are a bit older, Keiffer said.

The cats play, eat and snuggle together, and are also learning to find their voices and personalities. According to Keiffer, the lion cub is much more relaxed while the tiger cub is far more dominant and vocal.

Siberian tigers are on the endangered species list, and tigers rank as the worlds largest living cats. Approximately 3,200 are estimated to live in the wild. The new cub is the fifth Siberian tiger at the safari. African lions are the second largest living cat in the world, number less than 19,000 in the wild and are now being protected under the endangered species act, said safari Director and Chief Veterinarian Bill Rives. Several healthy African lion cubs have been born in the Six Flags safari during the last few years, and the new cub is the 20th lion at the safari.


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Extremely Rare Lion and Tiger Cub Litter

Celebrates First Birthday at Six Flags

JACKSON, N.J. ─ January 23, 2017 ─ An extremely rare litter of big cats just celebrated its first birthday at Six Flags Great Adventure. For the first time in history, the park’s animal care team is raising Siberian tiger cub Nadya and African lion cub Zuri as “sisters,” despite being species that would typically never cross paths in the wild.

“Last year, the animal care team experienced a very unusual situation. Within a week, an African lion and a Siberian tiger gave birth with a single female cub in each litter. These first-time mothers were unable to care for their newborns, so our team stepped in, feeding them up to six times a day and caring for them around the clock. To help their socialization skills, we brought these two cubs together and formed one litter,” said Dr. Ken Keiffer, a Six Flags veterinarian.

The two fuzzy cubs weighed approximately 3 lbs. at birth, and now tip the scales at 150 lbs. each. Nadya was the first tiger birth at the safari in 13 years. Siberian tigers are endangered and rank as the largest cats in the world. Nadya is expected to reach a weight of 400 lbs. African lions are the second largest cats in the world, protected by the endangered species act, and females like Zuri are expected to reach 280 lbs.

The cats continue to play, eat and snuggle together. During their birthday celebration, they took turns devouring their custom meat cakes and exploring the presents safari caretakers wrapped with pink paper.


Although the safari staff no longer physically interacts with the cats due to their strength and natural predatory behaviors, the bond between them is still evident. Throughout the party, the cats spent much time near the fence where their caretakers were singing and cheering, and the cubs exchanged comforting “chuffs” as communication with their team of surrogate mothers.


Guests can see the cubs on Safari Off Road Adventure in the Tigris Asiana section when the park opens April 1. For more information on Six Flags’ safari, visit www.sixflags.com/greatadventure




Source: Six Flags Great Adventure


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