Jaya, an endangered Sumatran Tiger at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, gave birth to a three pound (1.36kg) male cub on August 22. Zoological staff separated the cub from his mother a few days after birth because he wasn’t getting enough milk, was dehydrated and his temperature was low. Thanks to diligent hand-raising by his keepers, he’s now thriving... and visitors will have the chance to see him on exhibit this weekend!
The cub’s parents, Jaya and Malosi, are both in the rotation of tigers placed on exhibit each day in the zoo’s Asian Forest Sanctuary. All are critically endangered Sumatran tigers, and births in zoos are extremely rare. They are native to the island of Sumatra, where an estimated 300 Sumatran Tigers remain. Their lifespan is 10-12 years in the wild and 18-20 years in zoos.
Gestation lasts 100-110 days and the average litter size is 2-4 cubs. Cubs weigh a little over two pounds (.90kg) at birth and nurse about 6-10 weeks. By 18 months of age, tigers are ready to be out on their own and hunt their own food. Their diet in the wild consists of deer, tapirs, wild pigs, though tigers will eat anything they can catch. Maturity is reached by 3-4 years of age. They grow up to 7-8 feet (2-2.4 m) in length, are about 2 feet (.60 m) tall at the shoulder, and can weigh 200-275 pounds (90-124 kg).
Tigers are generally solitary animals. Both male and females map out their own territory by spraying urine on trees, bushes, and the ground. The specific range size of the Sumatran Tiger is not known, however the population density is approximately 4-5 adult tigers per 40 square miles (40 kms) in lowland rainforest. Tigers are not very active most of the time, sleeping about 18-20 hours a day. Sumatran Tigers are on cat that enjoys the water and will swim to cool down in the hot jungle.