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Cute jaguar cub is bottle fed after mother refuses to feed her at Novosibirsk Zoo

By The Siberian Times reporter
07 June 2014

Baby Gertruda is growing fast but is too playful to stay still on the scales long enough for a weight check.

Hello world! Baby Gertruda in Novosibirsk Zoo. Picture: Vesti Novsibirsk

Now one and a half months old, the zoo's new jaguar star drinks milk from a bottle and has just begun eating meat. Her mother lives nearby and as a keeper says: 'We can't figure out why the mother refused to feed the baby. But when it happened there was no time to analyse, we had to act - and quick.'

Novosibirsk Zoo, one of the largest and the most successfully managed in Russia, has been breeding jaguars for a number of years, but had no experience of bottle-feeding cubs. 

Yulia Konovalova, chief keeper of the 'Tropical World' section of the zoo, said: 'Gertruda was always shivering after she was born. 

'We had to keep her on a hot water bottle and made sure we changed it all the time. As with any other newborn, she had to be fed every three hours, so day of night we had to be up and alert not to miss the feeding time'.

Now Gertruda weighs about four kilograms, but as Yulia says: 'We won't know her exact weight for the next few months because she is too playful and keeps jumping when she on the scales. We don't want to put her in a cage to check weight. 

'She is growing fast, and will be half size of her mother by the end of the year.'

Cute jaguar cub is bottle fed after mother refuses to feed her at Novosibirsk Zoo

Novosibirsk Zoo, one of the largest and the most successfully managed in Russia, has been breeding jaguars for a number of years, but had no experience of bottle-feeding cubs. Picture: Vesti Novsibirsk

With more than 11,000 animals from 702 species - about 150 of them from them World Red Book - Novosibirsk Zoo is a popular tourist attraction with almost a million visitors annually, and a noted scientific institution. 

One of the largest in Russia, it boasts a world record in captive breeding programmes for endangered species. 

Rostislav Shilo, the zoo's director since 1969, says that there are only two other self-supporting zoos in the world - Singapore and San Diego. 

Among the unusual inhabitants is Ligress Zita, daughter of a lion father and tigress mother. 

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