PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Tigers are an endangered species around the world and a cub born three months ago at the Pittsburgh Zoo is now recovering from a life-threatening illness.

“About mid-November, we started to see some pretty drastic improvement in her condition,” Zoo Veterinarian Ginger Takle said.

However, the feisty little cub was not doing well when she was moved to the Pittsburgh Zoo’s Diagnostic Health Center.

“She was in critical condition at that time. She was actually unable to walk and nurse from her mom,” Takle said.

A bacterial infection at the base of her skull has since cleared up.

“We don’t have an exact date when we’ll try the reintroduction back to Toma, her mom,” Takle said.

Takle said pairing the cub with her mother too soon could result in rejection, or possible injury. But they have come nose to nose, with a protective cage between them.

“What’s really been exciting is that when Toma sees her, she will do a chuff toward her. And a chuff is a happy tiger sound,” Takle said.

She is an endangered Amur, or Siberian tiger. Only about 400 survive in the wild. Though the mother will have to wait a little longer, her other two cubs have been reintroduced to their now healthy sister.

When mom finally does meet her daughter, she may have her paws full.

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