The three siblings Igor, Boris and Ussuri are Siberian tigers like their father, Tiger, yet probably not purebred. They were born on the grounds 2006 now leased by the Sanctuary for Predators and Exotic Animals in the enclosure which the foxes Finja and Leo currently live in.
For the time being the three toms stayed with their mother, Angie, who had arrived at the SPEA together with Tiger. In order to ensure a species-appropriate keeping they were raised by their mother and are thus not as tame as hand-reared tigers would be. At the age of eight months they were transferred to the enclosures they live in today. All three of them grew up to become strong and proud tigers who love to plunge into their baths on a hot summer day or chew on Christmas trees, provided as entertainment in winter as well as play with one of the ever changing sources of entertainment like wheels, balls, branches, filled jute sacks and water canisters.
Weighing approximately 250kg (550 pounds), Igor is the heaviest of the three brothers. The tigers‘ weight differs depending on the season. In winter they are a lot heavier than in summer due to their long fur and winter fat. Compared to other Siberian tigers, they would be considered small or normal sized: Male Siberian tigers can weigh up to 306kg. Igor and Ussuri had to be separated after their neutering, after having lived together for four years, and are now housed in separate yet neighboring enclosures.
Being one of the coolest tigers in the entire enclosure, Boris is not easily impressed – except when the veterinarian, Dr. Wittmann, approaches with the vaccination, which has to be administered through a blowpipe. But how can we blame him? After all, he can’t know that the vaccination is only for his own good. When it comes to dinner time, Boris certainly isn’t afraid to let out a mighty roar and announce the beginning of suppertime to his Shelter companions.
Weighing circa 220kg, Boris was the first tiger to claim his own territory. He was separated from his brothers at the age of two and has managed to worm his way into the hearts of volunteers and visitors alike due to his proud appearance.
Weighing approximately 180kg, Ussuri is the slimmest of the triptych. Being the most cautious tiger cub of the three during their childhood, Ussuri was seriously infected with a virus in 2009, which he managed to overcome due to the enormous commitment and talent of Dr. Wittmann and his colleagues. Despite fully recovering from his illness, Ussuri’s build remains relatively small at least for a Siberian tiger. Then again, maybe Ussuri is just a picky eater! In contrast to his father Tiger and his sister Kiara, Ussuri loves a good chicken meal. By the way: Ussuri is the name of a river in Russia near which Siberian tigers still live in the wild.
Researchers can distinguish tigers by their unique markings.
Igor, Boris and Ussuri can be told apart by the number of the stripes on their left forelegs:
Ussuri: 2 „s“ in his name and 2 stripes on his left foreleg
Boris: 1 „s“ in his name and 1 stripes on his left foreleg
Igor: no „s“ in his name and no stripes on his left foreleg