Zolushka the tigress becomes a mother again

Zolushka the tigress becomes a mother again

7 February 2018

Camera traps have spotted Zolushka the tigress with a 6-7-month-old cub, her second litter, in the hunting grounds adjoining the Bastak Nature Reserve in the Jewish Autonomous Region.


Experts said the new mother has selected the same area for having a cub, as this place is rich in regularly nourished hoofed mammals. The tigress took her elder cubs, Prince and Vostok, born in 2015, to the same site. Here the rare wild cat taught her offspring to hunt and survive in the wild.


“The borders of tigers’ home range are changeable; the predators can move, shrink or expand their hunting grounds,” said Sergei Aramilev, director general of the Amur Tiger Centre. “This is the reason why tigers should be protected within their range, and not just in protected areas. With so many male tigers around Zolushka, she was expected to bear cubs soon enough, and now this has been officially recorded. We need to provide conditions now for the cub to survive and become a full-grown tiger. For this, we on our part will continue to help the Department of Hunting Supervision of the Jewish Autonomous Region and the Bastak Nature Reserve. At the moment, we are highly interested in the key question: the cub’s sex. Hopefully, we will soon be able to uncover this mystery with the help of new data from camera traps.”


Zolushka was six months old when she was saved from poachers in 2012 and was then released into the Bastak Nature Reserve after rehabilitation in 2013.


“Zolushka was the first ‘graduate’ of the rehabilitation centre, which is why the good news is especially exciting for us,” said Viktor Kuzmenko, director of the Tiger Centre. “The received data undoubtedly testifies to the success. Tiger recovery in their historic range is progressing faster than we expected. This is certainly positive news because lots of experts and organisations are involved in the work, which means their efforts are not in vain. We should continue working to monitor and protect reintroduced tigers and also think whether we need to reinforce the group or maybe the current tigers would be enough. We continue working with our partners to search for new places to release tigers in the Jewish Autonomous Region, and then specialists will decide together whether it needs to be done or not.”


Now there are 11 tigers in the Jewish Autonomous Region.

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