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UPDATE: Tarongas' Three Tiger Cubs Have a Penchant for Mischief


You may have first met these Sumantran tiger cubs from Taronga Zoo in Sydney on Zooborns' October blog post. Then the cubs, born in late August, were just beginning to go out in the habitat for an hour or two. Now they are thriving and growing - as evidenced in these photos taken by Zoo visitor Chris Kaas.  

Zoo Carnivore Supervisor, Louise Ginman said: “The three cubs are developing very quickly and watching mum’s every move. It’s great to see their individual personalities grow and the natural instincts displayed as they spend longer on exhibit."

"Kembali, the first-born male is very much like his father and can be unpredictable at times, which definitely keeps us on our toes," Louise continues, "whereas Sakti, the third-born is very calm and takes things in his stride. Kartika, the second and only female cub born, is definitely the most playful and adventurous, making sure she is the first to test out everything.” 

There are now more tigers in world zoos than in the wild (as few as 400), so zoo breeding programs are vital. These three cubs are a valuable boost to this critically endangered species.





Photo Credit: Chris Kara

More pictures and conservation information after the jump.


Tiger leg


Photo Credit: Chris Kara

“The cubs are exploring every centimeter of their jungle exhibit, playing in the bamboo thickets, prowling near the platforms and testing Jumilah’s patience as they play-wrestle with her, said Louise. The play is very important as it teaches them tiger skills and lets them test their growing strength.”  

"Taronga Zoo is committed to Tiger conservation, with over 30 Sumatran Tigers bred at the Zoo since 1979.  Three species, the Caspian, Balinese and Javanese, are already extinct. Soon zoos may be the only places future generations will be able to see and learn about Tigers.” 

Sumatran Tigers have suffered greatly from habitat loss due to palm oil plantations destroying their forests; their body parts are still used extensively in traditional medicines and they are still hunted for their pelts. Tragically in 2009, a female tiger was killed and skinned in an exhibit at Rimbo Zoo in Indonesia due to the hefty price it would fetch on the black market.

Taronga is financially supporting wildlife protection units in Sumatra, helping to create a network of community rangers to decrease illegal logging, hunting and vigilante actions against wildlife.