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Minnesota Zoo asks for help choosing name for Amur tiger cub

Tiger cubs venture into habitat at Minnesota Zoo
Tiger cubs venture into habitat at Minnesota Zoo 00:40

APPLE VALLEY, Minn. -- The Minnesota Zoo is asking for help in naming one of its three new Amur tiger cubs.

The Apple Valley zoo says that the cubs are currently getting a feel for their Tiger Lair habitat, running through the grass and playing with one another while their mom, Dari, keeps a close eye on them. 

Zoo officials say they want the public's help in naming one of the male tigers. People will be able to vote among four names: Aleksei, Anri, Vasya, and Vostok.

Minnesota Zoo

The names reflect the area of the world where Amur tigers (or Siberian tigers) come from. The species is native to east Asia, and their range mostly consists of boreal forests along the Amur river in Siberia. 

Voting on the names opens Tuesday and runs until midnight on Aug. 23. Click here to vote. 

Names of the other two tigers, a boy and a girl, are being chosen internally, the zoo said. Their names will be announced on Aug. 24. 

Dari, the cubs' mother, gave birth in the spring to four cubs, one of which did not survive. However, the zoo says this is not uncommon will a litter that size. 

There are about 500 Amur tigers remaining in the wild. The species is among the most endangered on the planet, as their numbers have dramatically declined over the last several decades due to habitat loss, poaching, and loss of prey, zoo officials say. 

Since its opening in 1978, the Minnesota Zoo has been an advocate for tiger conservation and it is currently part of a coordinated tiger breeding and conservation effort.

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