JACKSON – Back in May, Siberian tiger Nadya at the Six Flags Wild Safari gave birth to an extremely rare litter of five cubs.
What makes this litter so rare is that most tigers give birth around two to four cubs. This uncommon birth is very significant due to them being an endangered species, with the litter being equivalent to 1% of the world’s wild Siberian tiger population.
During the cubs’ first health checkup at three weeks old, the Six Flags Veterinary Team said one female cub weighed only 2.5 pounds, which is the typical birthweight. The other cubs, three girls and one boy, were at a healthy weight of 6 pounds.
The tiniest cub was brought into the clinic where she remained in an incubator and received around-the-clock bottle feedings.
“Without human intervention, she would not have survived,” said Six Flags Veterinarian Dr. Ken Keiffer, who also noted the grim survival rate of wild tigers at 50%.
The critically endangered species have an estimated wild population of only 500 due to poaching, hunting and habitat loss.
Siberian tigers, also known as Amur tigers, are the largest cats in the world averaging 11 feet long with a three-foot tail and bear a bold orange and black coat with a unique stripe pattern.
“Nadya’s cubs help ensure the survival of this precious species for at least two more decades,” Keiffer said. “At Six Flags, we aim to teach our guests about conservation, and we hope it inspires them to help preserve these and other amazing animals here on Earth.”
Guests can see Nadya and four of her cubs in the safari’s Tigris Asiana section of the Drive-Thru Adventure in the coming weeks. The littlest cub will remain in the veterinary clinic for the next few months.
The Wild Safari offers additional unique experiences to see Nadya and her cubs:
- ‘Safari Overnight’ Camp Out July 15 & 16: Guests can pitch a tent at Camp Aventura and fall asleep to the lullaby of a lion’s roar. This exclusive Safari Overnight event features animal activities, giraffe feeding and other special animal appearances. Guests can bring their tent and sleeping bag to make memories that will last a lifetime. Advance tickets are required and space is limited, visit sixflags.com/greatadventure/events.
- ‘Giraffe Encounter’ Safari VIP Tour: Great Adventure theme park offers a new safari VIP experience, the Giraffe Encounter Tour. This off-road adventure on military-style, open-air trucks features an informative and engaging tour guide through seven sections of the Wild Safari and the opportunity to hand-feed giraffes at Wild Safari’s Camp Aventura. Tour guests can also meet small exotic animals up-close. Program runs select days through June 29 and daily June 30 through September 4. Tour tickets may be purchased in advance or at the theme park.
- Private ‘Giraffe Encounter’ Tour: Guests can experience the Giraffe Encounter Tour with a private Safari Off-Road vehicle. This personalized excursion can be shared with up to 30 family and friends. The tour includes a fun and educational guide to narrate the trip, plus giraffe feeding at Camp Aventura. Fee required. Contact email@example.com with booking requests or further questions.