Wildlife Wednesday: baby tigers, scuba lizards and a new Big Five

Your weekly CanGeo round-up of wildlife news
  • May 26, 2021
  • 306 words
  • 2 minutes
Baby polar bear Expand Image

3’s Company!

They’re here! The Toronto Zoo announced on May 1 that “Mazy” the Amur tiger (formerly known as a Siberian tiger) had given birth to three cubs. The cubs will have their first check-up later in June, at which point vets will determine their sexes. The breeding is part of the Species Survival Plan, a program developed in 1981 by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to ensure healthy and genetically diverse animal populations within accredited zoo communities. There are fewer than 500 Amur tigers in the wild, though their population has slowly recovered over the past century from a low of just 20-30 animals in the 1930s. The three cubs bring the number of Amur tiger cubs raised at the Toronto Zoo to 23.

Amur Tiger Cubs Born at Toronto Zoo (Video: Toronto Zoo)

A new “Big 5”

The results are in: there’s a new Big 5 in town. More than 250 photographers (including Can Geo Photographer-in-Residence Daisy Gilardini), conservationists and wildlife charities around the world have decided to do away with the traditional Big 5 — which trophy hunters in Africa used to describe the five most prized and difficult animals to kill (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos and Cape buffalo) — and introduce the Big 5 of photography, to shoot with a camera. After more than 50,000 votes, the New Big 5 are: elephants, polar bears, gorillas, tigers and lions. The project aims not only to celebrate these iconic animals, but to raise awareness about the threats facing them, such as habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, poaching, illegal wildlife trade and climate change.

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Photo: Courtesy Daisy Gilardini

Scuba lizard!

Photo: Monika Kubala
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Photo: Monika Kubala
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Photo: Monika Kubala
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