Tierpark Animal News

Names for the Tiger Quadruplets

What should the Amur tiger quadruplets from mum Aurora (5 years) and dad Darius (9 years) be called? Raja, Olga, Aljoscha, Natalja, Iwan or even Victor… Mid-June saw Berliner Sparkasse, supported by radioBERLIN 88.8, go on a grand hunt for names for their sponsored tigers. A total of 2,500 Berliners responded to the call – in the end more than 350 different name suggestions were submitted.

The decisions were finally made a good two months later, on Sunday 30 August 2015: The four tiger offspring were finally given their official names at 10 a.m.. And these all have very special meanings:

Alexa reaches out into Berlin, strictly speaking, to Alexanderplatz, the central point of the capital and the headquarters of the sponsors, Berliner Sparkasse. The smallest of the tiger quadruplets knows how to perfectly assert herself through skillful behaviour.

 

Amura was named after the river Amur, which spans the border of Russia and China. The river is also the namesake of the species of the tiger. Amura is the largest of the three females and thereby also the boss among the sisters.

 

Amba stands for "Operation Amba". That is the codename of a Russian programme to protect the Siberian tiger against poaching. The inquisitive Amba is especially daring.

 

Artjom is not only one of the most popular Russian names for a boy, but it is also a town in the Primorye region, where most of the approx. 450 Amur tigers live in the wild. Artjom is the most dominant of the tiger quadruplets. He even enjoys provoking mum Aurora with small feints.


The name-jury, consisting of representatives from the Berliner Sparkasse and Tierpark Berlin, decided on Russian-sounding names that start with the letter "A" so to match tiger mum Aurora. "We have also made sure that all the names relate to the region of origin of the Amur tigers or Berlin itself", explains Dr. Johannes Evers, Chief Executive Officer of Berliner Sparkasse and sponsor of the tiger quadruplets. Together with Tierpark Director Dr. Andreas Knieriem he will attend the "christening" at the Alfred-Brehm House on Sunday.

The lively bunch of rascals were born in Tierpark Berlin on 23 April 2015. They all weigh between 17 and 20 kg, come in at an impressive length of around 30 cm (head-body length) and are getting more boisterous every day. Although guests would assume it to be harmless play-fighting, they wouldn't want to be hit with one of those giant paws! The tiger sprouts are now a good four months' old and have slowly started to assert their position in the pack. Yet, they are never too old for a cuddle from mum Aurora.

The tiger parents Aurora and Darius are part of the European Endangered Species Programme and are extremely important for the Amur tiger population due to their ancestry. There has been a total of 134 Amur tiger births at Tierpark Berlin up to now, a significant contribution to the conservation of these critically endangered tiger sub-species.

Amur tigers, which are also known as Siberian tigers, are the largest living cats on Earth. They populate the taiga forests in the extreme southeast of Russia, roaming the grounds as far as the borders with China and North Korea. Their population these days only amounts to around 450 animals, this is due to the hunting of the animals on a massive scale as well as the destruction of their habitat in the 1940s.

"We are delighted that Berliner Sparkasse are showing themselves to be especially committed sponsors and, with their name search, have drawn great attention to the kittens. This in turn helps raise awareness of the important issue of animal management among Berliners and in doing so, supports the Tierpark to a great extent", says Tierpark Director Dr. Andreas Knieriem.