A Cinderella Story

September 2, 2016

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Photo Credit: ©Bastak Reserve

In 2013, a nearly starved three-month-old tiger cub was brought to a rehabilitation center in Russia. Now, she's thriving in the wild. Roughly a year since her cubs were born, the group has made another appearance in camera trap photos (above).

The mother tiger (sitting center in the photo) became known as Zolushka in 2013, which is Russian for "Cinderella." She flourished in her rehabilitation and was released into Bastak Reserve in the Russian Far East, to an area where wild tigers disappeared some 40 years ago.

True to her fairy tale nickname, remote camera traps revealed Zolushka with two young cubs in 2015 (video below). It was the first-ever occurrence of a rehabilitated tiger not only surviving, but reproducing in the wild. They appear to still be doing well based on these new photos.

"This event represents not only a happy next chapter in an ongoing story for this particular tigress and her cubs," said Dale Miquelle, Director of WCS's Russian Program, "but a new phase of recovery for tigers in this region, and new hope for tigers everywhere."

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