The San Antonio Zoo is celebrating the debut of twin female Sumatran Tiger cubs. Born on August 3, the sisters are healthy and playful. The photos chronicle their growth, from their first checkup to playing with pumpkins at Halloween.
The zoo staff waited a few weeks before announcing the birth because the cubs’ mother, Kemala, was a first-time mom. This gave the new family time to bond in their den – similar to how mothers with newborn cubs behave in the wild – without disturbances from staff and guests. The cubs’ father, Raguno, has been moved to a separate enclosure since the birth.
Because Sumatran Tigers are critically endangered, these cubs represent an important contribution to the future of this species. The breeding of Kemala and Raguno was recommended by the Sumatran Tiger Species Survival Plan, which seeks to ensure genetic diversity in zoo-managed populations of threatened species.
Fewer than 400 Sumatran Tigers remain on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, where they are threatened with habitat destruction and poaching for their body parts.
See more photos of the cubs below the fold.