Zolushka gives birth to two cubs

Zolushka gives birth to two cubs

10 December 2015

Zolushka (Russian for Cinderella), a female Amur tiger who lives in the Bastak Nature Reserve in the Jewish Autonomous Region, has given birth to two cubs. The happy mother and her cubs have been caught on a trail camera. Specialists believe that the cubs’ father is Zavetny, a male inhabiting the same area as Zolushka.


Zolushka was a few-month-old cub, abandoned and emaciated, when she was found by hunters in the Primorye Territory in 2012. In 2013, after more than a year of treatment and rehabilitation at a rehabilitation centre in Alexeyevka (Primorye Territory),  Zolushka successfully returned to the wild. Bastak employees have been closely monitoring her ever since, first via a GPS-collar, then by snow tracks, and in the past year and a half, with the help of trail cameras. They have obtained over 1,000 photos and videos of Zolushka and Zavetny.


Zavetny became the first wild-born tiger to settle in the Jewish Autonomous Region almost 40 years after the local Amur tiger population completely vanished.


The Amur tiger reintroduction project is part of a larger Amur tiger monitoring and conservation programme launched in the Russian Far East. Initiated by President Vladimir Putin, the programme is being run by the Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) in cooperation with the Russian Geographical Society.


“Our project’s next step will be further elaborating methods to prepare tiger cubs born in captivity for life in the wild. This work will also involve a special Amur tiger rehabilitation centre,” Vyacheslav Rozhnov, a corresponding member of RAS and the project’s director, told reporters.