It has been four years since the pitter-patter of tiny paws were heard at Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden but the sound is back, multiplied by five.
In June, a litter of tiger cubs -- Svengali, the only boy, and his four sisters, Cosmo, Chakra, Star and Celestial -- were brought in when they were 5 weeks old from a Florida breeding program to help strengthen the garden's tiger bloodlines.
Even though Siegfried & Roy haven't performed since Roy Horn was seriously injured after being bitten by a tiger onstage during a performance in 2003, they have continued with their breeding program and The Mirage attraction. The new tiger blood is needed to diversify the gene pool because the last cubs born were the Secret Garden's fourth generation of tigers.
Forty-three big cats live at the Secret Garden, including white lions, white tigers and leopards. None of the tigers born at the Secret Garden have ever left. During 25 years, 18 litters of tiger cubs have been born at an average size of three cubs per birth.
Source: Las Vegas Review Journal