Thursday, September 19, 2013
The Sedgwick County Zoo's newest additions are on exhibit and open to the public starting this weekend.
Natasha and Tsar, ten week old Amur Tiger cubs, were released into their exhibit along with their mother Thursday night.
The zoo estimates more than a thousand people showed up to the sneak peek for zoo members.
It was raining and lightning Thursday night. If that big of a crowd showed up in the middle of a thunderstorm, just imagine how packed the exhibit will be on a nice day. It's something the zoo's director is already planning for.
“If the weather is halfway decent this fall, we'll get an extra 25 or 40,000 people we wouldn't normally get,” Sedgwick County Zoo Executive Director Mark Reed said.
All the traffic from the zoo's newest addition could help some animals who've been there a long time. The zoo is trying to raise several million dollars to expand their elephant exhibit and more people means more chances for donations.
“The future elephant exhibit is actually close to here and people are going to walk by it and it helps increase the buzz and awareness,” Reed said.
The two cubs will be at the Sedgwick County Zoo for a few years before heading off to other zoos. They're the first tiger cubs on exhibit at this zoo and zoo keepers hope there will be many more to come.
Starting Saturday morning the cubs will be out every day for everyone to see.