These are the first pictures of two Sumantran Tiger cubs born in early May at Burgers' Zoo in the Netherlands. Though they are about four weeks old, they have been staying with their mother behind the scenes. In the wild, tigers find a secure and quiet hideaway, like a cave, in which to give birth. Knowing this, the Keepers created a nice, dark room boardering the Lion habitat for the arrival of the twins. A closed-circuit camera recorded their birth, nursing activity and interaction with Mom.
As luck would have it, a spider chose to make it's web right in front of the lens, so while Mom stepped out, Keepers took the opportunity to both clear the camera and snap some quick images of the cubs.
Photo Credit: Burger's Zoo
The Sumatran Tiger is found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra off the Malaysian Peninsula and is considered to be a Critically Endangered species. It's estimated that only between 500-600 remain in the wild, and the actual number may be as low as 400, and rapidly dwindling. Most of those now live in five National Parks and two Game Reserves - though around 100 live in an unprotected area that will most likely be lost to agriculture growth in the near future. Though poaching is illegal, they are still hunted due to a high demand for Tiger products.
You can see video of the birth, of the little ones testing out padding below, and mom grabbing one of the babies who had wandered below.
First wobbly steps:
Mom picking up straying cub:
See more pictures below the fold: