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Zoo kept birth of twin tiger cubs top secret

Photo: Māris Lielkalns.
LSM - Two Amur (Siberian) tiger cubs were born at the Riga Zoo this summer, but their keepers only informed the public about the happy addition to the fold Wednesday.

The two brothers – named Thor and Odin in honor of the Scandinavian deities, have already reached the age of three months, but remain under the watchful eye of their mother Katrīna, whom zookeepers characterize as a particularly skittish and wary cat even without the responsibilities of motherhood.

Mom is extra protective of her babies, controlling their every move. Thor seems to be the heartier of the pair, weighing in recently at over 15 kilograms, 2 kilos more than Odin. Though they are still nursing, both have been eating meat since reaching the age of six weeks.

The litter is Katrīna’s second attempt at raising a family. Three years ago she delivered her first cubs, but due to construction noise from the street had to seek quieter hiding places and wound up injuring her offspring in the process. Zookeepers were quick to erect a sound-wall this summer so that this tragic outcome could be avoided this time.

Thor and Odin have passed all their veterinary tests and received their vaccinations to allow them to be shown to the public. Latvia’s winter season poses no problem for the natives of Siberia’s cold and snowy climes, so starting Thursday, every day from 10 until 12:30 visitors will be able to watch them romp in their outdoor home grounds. The Zoo’s website, as well as that of sponsor Lattelecom, will run a live stream for those who wish to observe the cubs from the virtual comforts of home.

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