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Tiger triplets born at the Indianapolis Zoo

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — There are three new bundles of joy at the Indianapolis Zoo!

Zoya, a 7-year-old Amur tiger, gave birth to triplets on May 27, the zoo announced Thursday. The trio consists of a female cub and two males. The father is a 14-year-old Amur tiger named Pavel.

Zoya was born at the zoo in 2014 and is a first-time mom.

When the first cub was born, Zoya was tending to it, but still showed signs of labor, according to the zoo. The veterinary staff had to deliver the other two cubs by cesarean section. The cubs weighed just two pounds each.

Zoya is doing well and healing and the cubs are healthy, but it is unlikely the triplets will ever be introduced to, or share space with, their mother.

Tigers are solitary by nature, the zoo says, and Zoya will not raise the triplets. Instead, the zoo’s animal care team is hand-raising the cubs — they will be bottle-fed for 12 weeks.

The birth of Zoya’s cubs is significant because there are fewer than 100 Amur tigers in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, according to the zoo, and the cubs play a vital role in ensuring genetic diversity and a sustainable population.

The community will have a chance to suggest names for the cubs in early July.

The cubs are expected to make their public debut sometime in mid-September.

Triplet tiger cubs sleep at the Indianapolis Zoo about one week after their birth in May 2022. (Provided Photo/Indianapolis Zoo)