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Moscow Zoo announces birth of four rare Siberian tigers, marking good news for Russian breed on endangered species ‘red list’

Four Siberian tiger cubs have been born at a specialist center for the reproduction of rare species near Moscow. The breed, also commonly known as the Amur tiger, has been the subject of a huge conservation effort in Russia.

Today, there are over 550 known specimens in the wild, up from 350 in the mid-2000s. They are mainly concentrated in the Far Eastern Primorsky Region, between the cities of Vladivostok and Khabarovsk, and are on the ‘red list’ of endangered species.

“Amur tigers, also known as Ussurian and Siberian tigers, are very rare and unique animals. There are four adult Amur tigers living at our center in the Moscow Region: Tikhon, a male, and three females: Shiva, Baryshnya and Matryoshka,” the Director General of Moscow Zoo Svetlana Akulova said on Wednesday. “Shiva was pregnant for about 100 days. In the time coming up to the birth, she became stealthier and less active. She gave birth to four cubs: two male and two female cubs.”

The big cats are housed at Moscow Zoo's reproduction center near Volokolamsk (Moscow Region), around 110km west of the capital. “The cubs were born in May, and now they have grown stronger and gained weight. Their main diet is [their] mother's milk, but they are now beginning to also consume meat,” the zoo's press service said.

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According to Akulova, the mother tigress did not let her young out of the house for a long time, hence the delay in announcing their birth. But experts have now managed to examine the cubs and determine their gender. It turned out that two boys and two girls were born. “The youngsters are absolutely healthy and very active,” she added.

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