Minn. Zoo hopes resident tigers play the mating game

Minn. Zoo hopes resident tigers play the mating game
Photo by #Justin

The Minnesota Zoo is on a mission to get some more tiger cubs, but it isn't that easy. The long and sometimes useless mating game is in full swing with two tigers they hope will make love in the coming months.

And so it goes for the lives of animals in captivity. They get one shot at sex and they can't be bothered to partake.

The Pioneer Press has a story on the zoo's plan for new tiger cubs at the zoo. The zoo, located in Apple Valley, had baby Siberian tigers in May 2004. The zoo currently has six Siberian tigers.

So how does mating work in captivity? It's a highly structured activity that takes all the fun out of it. And not very successful. Only 35 percent of potential mating connections end up producing a cub.

The zoo brought in Anya from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio based on a North American breeding program that matches tigers. Northern Trail supervisor Diana Weinhardt told the PiPress it's "computer dating for animals," but they don't get much of a choice in their future mate.

Well, they sort of do. If there is no spark between the tigers, they won't do it. Take that, online dating!

Once Anya arrived, she was in a 30-day quarantine to let her become comfortable to her new environment. She was then introduced to her potential mate, Molniy through a "howdy door," which is a mesh wire wall connecting their cages.

When the zoo determined she was in the mood, they put their in the same cage, but Anya didn't feel like having sex. Typical.

From the PiPress: "He did show some curiosity, but she was not receptive to him," Weinhardt said. "She wasn't flipping her tail at him or doing all those things that girl tigers do to woo a mate -- basically, being a little tart."

We demand tiger cubs! Just do it already.

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