Amur Tiger gets Six Month Check up


Tiger 6-month check up
Thursday, May 5
9 a.m.
Please meet at Education Complex at 8:45 a.m.

(Pittsburgh) (May, 2011)—One of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium’s female tiger cubs has undergone a lot in her eight months of life. She was treated for a life-threatening bacterial infection and had to be re-introduced to her siblings and mom, and now she is getting exam six months after starting treatment. “This is simply a routine checkup that we would normally wait until she was a year-old, but because she had serious health problems at a young age, we want to follow-up earlier,” says Dr. Barbara Baker, president and CEO of the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium.  

In order to get an accurate x-ray, the cub will be given a sedative to relax her. The vet staff will weigh her, x-ray her neck and spine, do a blood test, and take a look at her teeth, eyes, and paws,” says Dr. Baker. “The entire exam should take about 15 to 20 minutes.”

In October of last year, just six weeks after she was born, the young cub developed a systemic bacterial infection from an abscess at the base of her skull that affected her ability to move around and nurse. She spent six weeks in the Zoo’s Animal Hospital recovering.  Once she was better, she was reintroduced to her sister, brother and mom. Everything went well and the entire family is together.

Today, the little cub is growing and now weighs close to 80 pounds. She joins her brother and sister out in the tiger yard every day, playing and wrestling with each other. Of the three cubs, she is the bravest and most outgoing.

This spring, the cubs discovered something new—water in the moat. Tigers are one of the few cat species that swim, so it wasn’t long before the cubs curiosity about the water took over.  At first they dipped their paws into it and then slowly waded in.  Now they are swimming around.  They are also busy improving their hunting skills by chasing low-flying birds and playing with the various enrichment items the keepers put in their yards.