New tiger cubs seriously injured at Brookfield Zoo
The two new tiger cubs at the Brookfield Zoo were seriously injured Thursday — one had her leg amputated, the other had nearly three-quarters of her tail removed — after a run-in with the cubs’ father.
Kim Smith, vice president of animal care for the Chicago Zoological Society, said it is unclear how the cubs’ father, Robeki, injured the cub’s leg because keepers didn't see the incident take place.
“The young female cub inadvertently put her paw through the grate” into Robeki’s holding facility, Smith said. The cubs were found injured in their off-exhibit enclosure after keepers heard a commotion.
The cub was rushed into a two-hour surgery performed by veterinarians from the Chicago Zoological Society in the zoo’s on-site animal hospital. The Chicago Zoological Society manages the Brookfield Zoo.
“We had to remove (the leg) above the elbow,” Smith said.
Smith said portions of both cubs’ tails also had to be removed.
“We’re not exactly sure (how the cubs suffered tail injuries),” Smith said. “One theory is ... Mom was trying to get them away.”
Male tigers are aggressive, which is why the father was separated from the cubs.
Amy Walgren, spokeswoman for the zoo, said both cubs were doing well Friday morning.
“They woke up and they were alert,” Walgren said.
The zoo is conducting an internal investigation into how the cubs were injured.