JACKSON - Spots and stripes have taken over the nursery at Six Flags Great Adventure’s safari as the veterinary team welcomes a Siberian tiger cub, the first tiger birth at the safari in 13 years, and an African lion cub.

Officials say the new additions are the first time the team is hand raising two female “big cats” as one litter despite being two species that would typically never meet in the wild.

“Within a week, two first-time mothers gave birth to healthy cubs but failed to care for them, so we stepped in,” said Dr. Ken Keiffer, a Six Flags veterinarian. 

The lion was born Nov. 19 and weighed 3 lbs., and the tiger followed on Thanksgiving and weighed 2.4 lbs.

“Raising the cubs together helps to develop their socialization skills, and will enhance their chances of being successfully introduced to their own species at the safari when they are a bit older,” Keiffer said.