West Bend Shalom Wildlife tiger cubs named

Officials with West Bend's Shalom Wildlife Zoo shared an update on social media Saturday, Aug. 20 after their four new tiger cubs were named.

Zoo officials asked for the public's input in naming the cubs, and they received hundreds of suggestions.

The cubs' names are as follows:

  • White female: Nina – in honor of Shalom's social media followers, "who prayed and sent positive energy to Ginger and her babies." Shalom officials said Nina means "God was gracious and shown favor."
  • Female with spider marking: Charlotte – in honor of Ginger, "who is dedicated to keeping white and orange tigers in the web of life on this Earth."
  • Male with boa tail: Khan – in honor of Goliath, "their protector."
  • Male nicknamed "Goldie" due to his stripes at birth (the biggest of the cubs): King – also in honor of Goliath, "their protector."

Ginger gives birth

The tiger cubs were welcomed at Shalom on Aug. 5, born to Ginger, who had two stillborn cubs two years ago. There were initially five healthy cubs. 

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With tigers in the wild facing potential extinction, co-owner David Fechter said this blessing goes even further. Shalom's tiger Goliath, who is not the father of these new cubs but a friend to Ginger, had to be put down a week before Ginger give birth.

Mourning Goliath

"That was a rough one," said Fechter. "It really was. We tried everything we could to help. He hung in there – tried to keep going, protect Ginger. His big goal in life was to protect her. In the last two months, she knew he was dying, and she, tigers, in general, are solitary. They don’t hang out together, but she would lay with him and comfort him." 

Just as much a part of life is death.

"That’s how it goes; right?" said Fechter. "The cycle of life."

That cycle continues with the birth of Ginger's five tiny miracles.

Fechter initially said at least one of the cubs would be named in Goliath's honor. 

Visiting Shalom Wildlife Zoo

One of Ginger's cubs is white, which is very rare. There are only about 200 in the world, Fechter said. That trait can be a result of inbreeding, but that's not the case here. Fechter explained that Ginger had her babies with an orange tiger named Jona, who she is not related to. The white cub resulted from a recessive gene.

The zoo’s intention is to keep all of the cubs.

Shalom Wildlife Zoo features four miles of gravel roads where you can walk, drive or ride in a golf cart and enjoy 75 species. There are signs of life everywhere.