12,000 - 6,000 years ago, the Sumatran tiger was isolated from the mainland population and has since developed into the smallest subspecies of tiger. While the actual population is unknown, it is believed that only 100-400 Sumatran tigers survive today in the wild. However, two more now exist at the Dublin Zoo and they have a very doting mom.
Stars with Stripes
29th July 2009
Visitors are being captivated by the antics of two of Dublin Zoo’s latest arrivals – a pair of beautiful 8 week old Sumatran tiger cubs.
The yet unnamed cubs are a most precious edition to Dublin Zoo as the Sumatran Tiger is a critically endangered species - only a few hundred of these magnificent creatures survive in the wild. The birth occurred in the early hours of 29th May to mother Sigra.The male cub weighed in at 1 kg at birth and the female .85 kg.
Mother Sigra is showing her usual maternal instinct, already proven with her previous cubs which are now also part of the global breeding programme. What is more surprising though is the way that stunning dad Kepala, who arrived in Dublin from Chester Zoo in February, has taken to his offspring. Says keeper Anita Langstone: “He is watchful and caring, affectionate and very protective towards them.”
Speaking about this most significant birth, Zoo Director, Leo Oosterweghel said “You never know what is going to happen when you introduce two big cats – so we are delighted with this spectacular result. The bigger picture is of course that these cubs will help us to introduce our visitors to the plight of this critically endangered cat as well as making a huge contribution to the global breeding programme.”
The keepers at Dublin Zoo are delighted with how the little siblings are progressing and are keeping a close eye on the cubs’ developing personalities. The female cub is said to be a “very intelligent and inquisitive creature” while the male is already displaying his father’s traits with a “boisterous nature” and a striking, masculine appearance.
Dublin Zoo plays a significant role in the international breeding programme which is designed to ensure the survival of tigers in their natural habitat. As well as contributing to this breeding programme visitors to Dublin Zoo have the opportunity to support these critically endangered species by purchasing a Tiger adoption pack at Dublin Zoo gift shop.
To celebrate this significant birth, Dublin Zoo is offering a family pass plus a Tiger adoption pack and a Guide Book at the special price of just €60. There will also be special Sumatran tiger talks and tiger face painters free of charge over the long weekend.
Visitors to Dublin Zoo will be able to see the new tiger cubs, alongside their mother Sigra and Father Kepala from today.