Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari in Jackson, New Jersey made an exciting announcement this week. On May 2, 2022, five Siberian tiger cubs were born!
Siberian tigers have been going extinct, and Nadya, a Siberian tiger at the Safari attraction of Six Flags Great Adventure has given birth to 1% of the remaining population of Siberian tigers on the planet – only 500 Siberian tigers remain on the globe, according to a video from NJ.com New York!
Denver Zoo says, “It is estimated that only 350-450 Amur (Siberian) tigers remain in the wild although there are 650 in captivity.”
With five cubs, the litter was an unusually large one. World Wildlife shares, “On average, tigers give birth to two to four cubs every two years.”
While the mission at Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari is to provide the cats with proper nutrition and veterinary care, there remains controversy about there being more tigers in captivity than in the wild.
National Geographic explains, “Captive tigers in the U.S. outnumber those in the wild. It's a problem. Some are in roadside zoos. Some are pets. Many are abused. A lack of regulation on big cats is putting animals and humans at risk.”
“The current scale of commercial captive breeding efforts within these farms is a significant obstacle to the recovery and protection of wild tiger populations because they perpetuate the demand for tiger products, serve as a cover for illegal trade and undermine enforcement efforts, ”explains World Wildlife.
It’s estimated by World Wildlife, “Tigers have lost an estimated 95% of their historical range. Their habitat has been destroyed, degraded, and fragmented by human activities. The clearing of forests for agriculture and timber, as well as the building of road networks and other development activities, pose serious threats to tiger habitats. Tigers need wide swaths of habitat for their survival since they have large home ranges and are very territorial.”
In captivity, Siberian tigers sport an orange coat with black stripes, as opposed to a white coat, since they are not adapted to living in their snowy native environments of Russia, North Korea, and China.
As climates change for humans and tigers, tiger homes are at significant risk. Deforestation destroys the tiger’s homes and sources of prey.
Nonetheless, this is exciting news, and Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari is not boasting a tourist attraction for the summer. This happening has doubled the park’s population of the nearly extinct subspecies of tigers.
Veterinarian at the park, Dr. Ken Keiffer says, “Nadya’s cubs help ensure the survival of this precious species for at least two more decades," along with mentioning this was Nadya’s third litter while living in at Six Flags. Keiffer continues, “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.”