Tiger Cub has a Name

PURR-FECT NEWS: Amur Tiger Cub Named!

(Pittsburgh) (September 2013)—The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium is thrilled to announce that our five month old tiger cub has a name.  

            “We are always looking for unique and different names that represent our animals,” says Dr. Barbara Baker, President & CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium. “Pavel is Russian for Paul and fits our little cub perfectly because both his parents were born in Russia.” Pavel is a genetically valuable Amur tiger. Both his parents, mom Toma and dad Taiga, were born in Russian zoos and their bloodlines are providing much needed diversity in the Amur tiger population.

“The little cub now weighs over 70 pounds and is eating more than two pounds of meat a day,” says Kathy Suthard, Lead Carnivore Keeper. “He is eating well and growing quickly.”

The little cub is curious about everything. Normally mom Toma is pretty patient but there are times when she just wants to rest and Pavel is interfering with her plans.  “You will see mom get up and start to play and push him around,” says Suthard. “This is all part of the learning process of playing and learning to protect himself.  In the wild, at two years of age, Pavel would be getting to ready to venture out on his own, so mom is providing him with the skills to survive.”

Amur tigers are endangered with only 400 left in the wild. Tigers were once referred to as Siberian tigers but due to loss of habitat and poaching, their populations are mostly found in the Amur River Region.

“It is frightening to think that unless we all work together to protect this wonderful species in the wild, someday they may become extinct,” says Suthard. “The Zoo offers an opportunity to educate our visitors about the Amur tiger and their plight in the world, as well as ongoing efforts to save this species. Our cub is a wonderful ambassador for the Amur tiger species.”