Minnesota Zoo Media Contact

If you are a member of the press, please contact: Josh Le
Communications and Media Relations Manager
Minnesota Zoo
13000 Zoo Boulevard
Apple Valley, MN 55124
952.212.3428 direct
952.431.9300 fax
[email protected]

Apple Valley, MINN – May 8, 2017 – The Minnesota Zoo is excited to launch a LIVE webcam to offer an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse at the new endangered female Amur tiger cub and her mother, Sundari.

The Tiger Cub Cam, sponsored by Cub Foods, will continuously stream live footage from the Amur tiger den and provide guests the opportunity to watch the new cub grow. The female cub will remain behind the scenes with mom while Zoo staff monitors their health. The Zoo has set up a special webpage that includes a live web camto view the new tiger cub and mother, as well as offers other ways guests can support the Zoo’s efforts to save wildlife at http://www.mnzoo.org/tigercub2017.

There may be times throughout the day where the tiger cub and/or mother, Sundari will not be visible due to periodic health checkups by the Zoo’s animal care staff and supplemental feedings.

The female cub was born on Wednesday, April 26 and pulled for back-up hand raising when Sundari, a first-time mom, wasn’t showing the necessary level of care needed at birth. Although the cub needed initial care from Zoo staff, it is always the goal at the Minnesota Zoo for the (animal) parent(s) to raise their own young, if at all possible and Zoo staff have been working tirelessly to keep the cub and mother connected. Through continued efforts of showing the cub to Sundari through a protective barrier and Sundari showing no signs of aggression towards the cub, the decision was made to reunite the mother-daughter pair. Currently, things are going very well, as staff closely monitor the interactions and the health of the cub to make sure she has enough milk. Supplemental feedings by Zoo staff are still periodically occurring to maintain the cub’s good health, but at this time both the cub and Sundari are doing well.

This is the first offspring for mother, Sundari (Sun-dar-ee), who was born at the Minnesota Zoo in June of 2012. Father, 7-year-old Putin (Poo-tin) has sired two other litters in Denmark, where he lived before coming to the Minnesota Zoo in 2015 with the assistance of Delta Air Lines, a long-time supporter of the Minnesota Zoo. Putin was brought to the Minnesota Zoo as a recommendation of the Amur Tiger Global Species Management Plan, which is co-coordinated by Minnesota Zoo staff. He is the most genetically valuable Amur tiger in the North American breeding program, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ (AZA) Tiger Species Survival Plan® (SSP). Coordinated by Minnesota Zoo staff for more than three decades, the Tiger SSP recommended Sundari and Putin as a breeding pair.

The largest of all cats, the Amur tiger is a top predator of far eastern Asia. Its thick fur protects it against the extreme cold and icy winds of winter, while its stripes help render it invisible to prey. Amur tigers are carnivores, eating mostly large mammals such as deer and wild boar. They will travel over extensive forest territories in search of food. With its stealth, speed, and sheer strength, the Amur tiger is well-suited to its role as a hunter.

Poaching – of the tigers themselves and their prey – is the primary threat to the Amur tiger’s survival. Due to conservation efforts, Amur tiger numbers have increased from as low as 20 or 30 around 1940 to approximately 500 today. Through the Tiger SSP’s Tiger Conservation Campaign, the Minnesota Zoo supports efforts to improve anti-poaching patrols in the Russian Far east and to close old logging roads in order to prevent poacher access.

Coordinated by Minnesota Zoo staff since its initiation in 2012, the Tiger SSP’s Tiger Conservation Campaign has raised over $750,000 for on-the-ground projects that are helping save wild tigers. The Campaign aims to reach $1 million in support of tiger conservation by the end of 2017. The public can learn about and contribute to these efforts by visiting tigercampaign.org and facebook.com/tigercampaign.

The Minnesota Zoo is also one of 15 coalition members that comprise the Amur Leopard and Tiger Alliance (altaconservation.org). These coalition members pool their resources to help support conservation efforts for wild Amur tigers and leopards. Funds contributed by the Minnesota Zoo have helped monitor wild populations of these highly-endangered cats in the Russian Far East.

The Minnesota Zoo is a year-round destination located in Apple Valley, just minutes south of Mall of America. The Zoo’s mission is to connect people, animals and the natural world to save wildlife. For more information, call 952.431.9500 or visit mnzoo.org. The Minnesota Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and an institutional member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA).