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Indianapolis Zoo tiger cubs make public debut Friday morning

The triplets, named Roman, Helina and Nicolas, were born May 27, 2022.

INDIANAPOLIS — The wait is nearly over: The Indianapolis Zoo is debuting the three Amur tiger cubs to the public.

Roman, Helina and Nicolas, who were born in May, were set to make their public debuts Friday, Sept. 16 at 9:30 a.m. Unfortunately, the male cubs did not make their debut Friday. One chose to stay inside and the other is receiving medical treatment for a health issue, according to the zoo. All cubs are expected to be in the new habitat in the next week.

The zoo cautioned guests that not everyone may have the opportunity to see the tiger cubs right away. The zoo also said big cats are just like house cats, which means they like to do things their way on their schedule.

Credit: Indianapolis Zoo
The Indianapolis Zoo has named the Amur tiger cubs: Roman (left), Helina (center) and Nicholas (right).

The zoo said first-time mom Zoya, a 7-year-old Amur tiger, is doing great and has healed after delivering the first cub naturally but then delivering the next two by caesarean section. The father is 14-year-old Pavel.

The zoo decided to name one of the male cubs Nicolas after the veterinary surgeon who assisted in the tiger cubs' birth.

There were more than 7,000 votes in the naming contest. Voters have a chance to win a family fun prize pack, which includes free tickets to the zoo.

According to the zoo, all three cubs weighed around 2 pounds each at birth.

Unfortunately, the cubs will likely never be introduced to or in the same space as their mother because tigers are solitary by nature, and Zoya is not raising them.

According to the zoo, the Amur tiger cubs' birth is extremely important, as there are fewer than 100 Amur tigers in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The zoo said Amur tigers in the wild have lost almost 95% of their territories.

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