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Brookfield

Give it a Whirl: Amur tiger returns to Brookfield Zoo

Whirl, a 5-year-old Amur tiger, is back at Brookfield Zoo after a short stay at Minnesota Zoo.
Whirl, a 5-year-old Amur tiger, is back at Brookfield Zoo after a short stay at Minnesota Zoo.

BROOKFIELD — Whirl, a 5-year-old Amur tiger, is back at Brookfield Zoo after a short stay at Minnesota Zoo.

Zookeepers report they are happy to have her back, and she is acclimating well to her old surroundings.

Whirl only has part of her tail because it was injured in September 2007 when her mother, Tiara, tried to pull her and her brother to safety after her brother was attacked by their father, Robeki. The 4-month-old boy cub died while coming out of anesthesia for surgery after his father bit off his foreleg when the cub stuck his paw into the adjoining enclosure.

No one witnessed the attack. The cubs' mother bit on the siblings' tails to try to drag them out of reach.

After the accident and following a U.S. Department of Agriculture citation for inadequate separation of the tigers, the zoo made changes to its housing policies, staffing and training.

Amur tigers are the largest of all cats, with males weighing up to 600 pounds. Brookfield Zoo is part of the Amur Tiger Species Survival Program, a cooperative program between zoos that plans the breeding of this highly endangered species.

Whirl can be seen outdoors in The Fragile Kingdom exhibit, or conveniently from home on YouTube.

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