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article imageBorn in captivity, Calgary zoo's 3 tiger cubs growing and playing

By Marcus Hondro     Jul 29, 2012 in World
It seems that it's third time lucky for Katja, a Siberian tiger who lives in the Calgary zoo. While the first two times Katja gave birth her babies did not survive, this time all three are thriving at 4 months old.
“They’re doing awesome and growing like crazy. They’re becoming so active, it’s amazing,” zookeeper Barb Campbell said this week. The Siberian tiger, also known as the Amur tiger, is on the world's endangered species list with only about 400 in the wild.
Calgary zoo cubs play with new toy
On Friday, the three, two boys and a girl named Samkha, Vasili and Kira, were given a new toy to play with. The zoo placed a fake camel - the Calgary Herald called it a "deer-shaped structure" - made of twigs, branches and camel hair, into their enclosure. The bouncing cubs became rather cautious and stopped bouncing, not sure what to make of it. Once Mom checked it out, and swatted it down, the siblings set to playing with it while zoo visitors took photos.
“It (the fake camel) has all sorts of different smells and sensations they wouldn’t normally have in their habitat, so this is something new for them, something exciting,” the zoo’s education program co-coordinator, Zack Anderson, said. “We want to make sure they have the best quality of life possible and doing things like this it enhances their quality of life. It gives them something exciting and new and it’s not really any different than giving a new treat to your dog.”
The cubs are up to around 14 kilograms each and Anderson described them as "wonderful and vivacious" and said their births in captivity are "a keystone to the future success of their species.”
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