Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo has two new rare tiger cubs, and thankfully, they're giving the world an (adorable) inside look. The cubs, named Reka and Zeya, are being cared for around the clock at the zoo's animal health care center — where the zoo has a delightful cub cam set up.
Reka — which means "river" in Russian — and Zeya — which is the name of a tributary to the Amur river in Russia — are critically endangered Amur cubs, and their names pay tribute to their Russian heritage. Sadly, their mother neglected her litter of four cubs after they were born in late 2017 at the zoo. Reka and Zeya were the only two of the litter to live.
“From the moment when we realized that their mother, Changbai, was not responding to the needs of her offspring, it was never guaranteed that the cubs would survive,” said zoo director Gregg Dancho in a press release. “Removing cubs for hand rearing is risky, and required extraordinary dedication from our animal care staff in feeding and monitoring them around the clock for their first few weeks.”
That said, it looks like the little furry angels are not only surviving but also thriving in their new temporary home. Anyone who gets a chance to look at the cub-cam — which has reportedly crashed the zoo's website at least once due to massive popularity — can see how much progress they've made.
“Accredited zoos do much more than simply display animals to visitors,” Dancho said. “Zoos like ours play a vital role in conservation, through saving species at risk of extinction in the wild. Through the generosity of Blue Buffalo we are now able to share images of the cubs with the world.”
And what beautiful images they are!