I am delighted to share with you this just captured, rare footage of Zolushka (Cinderella in Russian), playing with her two new cubs in the wild of Bastak Reserve in Far East Russia.
Zolushka herself was rescued as a cub in 2012, rehabilitated by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and a coalition of NGOs, and then released into a nature reserve in 2013.
Amur (also called Siberian) tigers animals are very rare, with only an estimated 500 left in the wild, so every animal saved helps preserve the species. And the fact that Zolushka has mated and given birth to two seemingly healthy cubs is evidence that she is thriving in the wild and helping rebuild the Amur tiger population.
As my colleague Ian Robinson wrote, “IFAW is committed to rescuing wildlife around the world in crisis, from individuals in crisis to entire populations.”
Post-release monitoring with technology such as the satellite/radio collar worn by Zolushka and the camera traps placed throughout the nature preserve is essential to ensuring that we are successful in preparing rescued animals to thrive in the wild.
And they have the added benefit of providing us with these happy glimpses of the new wild families we helped to nurture and support.
Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Photos are available at www.ifawimages.com