Sumatran Tiger Siblings Born at Hamilton Zoo


Hamilton Zoo has two new cuties of the feline variety. The zoo’s female Sumatran Tiger, ‘Sali’, gave birth to a pair of cubs earlier this month. The male and female cubs are a significant achievement for both the species and the popular Hamilton, New Zealand visitor attraction.


HamiltonZoo_SumatranCubs_3Photo Credits: Hamilton Zoo

Hamilton Zoo Curator, Samantha Kudeweh says, “She gave birth on November 16th, but we needed to keep this news under wraps to ensure a stress-free start to motherhood for Sali. For any first-time mother, those first few days are very important, so we kept our distance and just observed what we could.”

Mrs. Kudeweh says staff were able to assess the cubs for the first time this week. The male cub weighed in at 2.15 kg (4.7 lbs), while his sister was slightly smaller at 2.04kg (4.5 lbs).

“They are fat, loveable, and very strong,” Mrs. Kudeweh says. “Like most newborns, they’re noisy and easily tired, but do seem to be doing okay. They have just started opening their eyes and their ears have begun to unfurl.”

Staff will inspect the cubs weekly over the next three months, monitoring their weight gain and general health. The two cubs have different markings on their necks, which is how they will be identified for the next few months.

Mrs. Kudeweh says Sali will likely remain extremely protective of her offspring for the first two months of their lives, keeping them in her den. Mrs. Kudeweh expects the two cubs to become visible to zoo patrons in late December or early January.

“Once they’re out and about, they’ll demonstrate those traits which make them so loveable! They’ll be adventurous, active, busy, playful and smart.”

The arrival of the cub’s father, ‘Oz’, at Hamilton Zoo, earlier this year was planned as part of the Global Species Management plan for Sumatran Tigers. His introduction to Sali was intended to result in cubs. The birth of the two cubs is a significant achievement for Hamilton Zoo, and the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger species.

“This is career highlight for me and the rest of the team involved,” Mrs. Kudeweh says. “It’s very exciting for the zoo and the species.”

The Sumatran Tiger is a rare sub-species of the tiger. The species is only found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and the gradual decline in its population is attributed to human activity, particularly impacts on their natural forest habitat. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimates only 500 of the animals live in the wild. 

Help Name Three Sumatran Tiger Cubs

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Three endangered Sumatran Tiger Cubs, at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington, need names!



140922_pdza_108Photo Credits: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium/Ingrid Barrentine

Zoo staff members are eager to have names for the tiny tiger triplets and are conducting a public vote on a slate of names for the 3-week-old cubs. In the spirit of the season, voting begins today!

The zoo is also releasing the tiger cubs’ first official photos, taken during a well-cub check by staff veterinarian Dr. Allison Case and staff biologist Christy Webster.

The three female cubs, born Oct. 8, are healthy and thriving. They are living behind the scenes in the zoo’s Asian Forest Sanctuary with their mother, ‘Jaya’, who is very attentive to their needs. The cubs, who weighed between 2.5 and 3 pounds each at birth, now weigh in at 7.67, 7.80 and 8.31 pounds.

There is no date set for their public debut, but it will likely occur in just over a month when the cubs have grown a bit more and are not quite as wobbly on their legs. The new family is also enjoying additional bonding time. Cool outdoor temperatures could also play a role in when the tiny tigers come out to meet the public. 

Members of the public may vote on names, which Asian Forest Sanctuary staff biologists chose from Bahasa Indonesia, the Indonesian language. The cubs will receive the top three names. Voting runs through Nov. 13 and the names will be announced Nov. 14.

The public may vote at www.pdza.org/cubs  and can find another link at https://www.facebook.com/PtDefianceZoo.

Once the votes are tallied, zookeepers will decide which name best fits which cub based on their personalities and appearances.

“The birth of the three cubs also presents a rich opportunity for the public to learn more about Sumatran Tigers, which are a critically endangered species,” Goodrowe Beck said. “Every one of these tigers is precious. We strongly want tiger species to survive so they will be there for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren to see and appreciate.”

The cubs’ birth was part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for Sumatran Tigers. Goodrowe Beck coordinates the SSP for North America.

Only about 300 Sumatran Tigers remain in the wild on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Their numbers are dramatically dwindling due to poaching and habitat destruction, primarily for the growth of oil palms. There are just 80 Sumatran Tigers in North American zoos and approximately 400 in zoos worldwide.

The three cubs bring the total number of tigers at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to nine. In addition to ‘Jaya’ and her litter, the zoo is home to Sumatran Tigers ‘Malosi’ (the cubs’ father), ‘Bima’, ‘Dumai’ and ‘Kali’. Malayan tiger ‘Berani’ also lives in the zoo’s Asian Forest Sanctuary. The tigers rotate on and off a number of exhibits.

More great photos below the fold!

Continue reading "Help Name Three Sumatran Tiger Cubs" »

Name Game for Amur Tiger Cub

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In early August, ZooBorns brought you a story about the new Amur Tiger cub at the Indianapolis Zoo. The adorable female is now two-months old, and keepers want the public's help in selecting a name!

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Tiger cub_Indianapolis Zoo_2Photo Credits: Jill Burbank (Photos 1,2,5); Laura Kriehn (Photos 3,4)

Born July 10th to first time parents, Andrea and Petya, the cub is one of four Amur Tigers at the Indianapolis Zoo. Both mother and cub are doing well, though they will remain in a private indoor area for several weeks to protect the young tiger's health. Veterinarians and keepers are pleased with the cub's progress. At her two-month checkup on Sept. 10, she had grown to about 18.3 pounds, nearly three times larger than the 6.2 pounds recorded during her first weigh-in on July 26. Keepers also note the cub is very active and playful toward Andrea. She is already eating meat and has even been observed doing some stalking behaviors.

Keepers at the Indianapolis Zoo have preselected three names and are inviting fans to participate in choosing a name via their facebook page. The three names selected for the poll are: Chudo (pronounced CHEW-da), meaning "miracle"; Shoomka (pronounced SHUM-ka), meaning "noisy"; and Zoya (pronounced ZOY-a), meaning "life”.

Facebook users who “like” the Zoo's page can vote daily through Friday, Sept. 26. Click the “Poll” tab at the top of their page, and votes can be placed. Additionally, one lucky fan who votes in the poll will be chosen at random to receive an Indianapolis Zoo prize pack, including a tiger plush and a family four-pack of Zoo tickets.

Continue reading "Name Game for Amur Tiger Cub" »

Malayan Tiger Cubs Bonding with Mom at Tulsa Zoo

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The Tulsa Zoo is celebrating the birth of three endangered Malayan Tiger cubs. The cubs were born at the Tulsa Zoo on Aug. 8 to mom, Jin, and dad, Gahara. This is the second successful birth for the tiger pair.

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Malayan tiger cub_Tulsa_2Photo Credits: Photo 1, Ali Kalenak; Photo 2 & 3, Tulsa Zoo; Photo 4, Dr. Jen Kilburn

While the three cubs are doing well, unfortunately, one of their siblings did not survive long after it was born. This is not uncommon in a large litter of cubs. Staff continues to observe Jin and the cubs through closed circuit cameras, which allows staff to monitor them at all times without disturbance.

Jin has been a very attentive mother to the cubs, which are continuing to thrive. The new family will remain in an off-exhibit area as they continue to bond. Eventually, when the cubs are strong enough, they will be allowed to explore within the safe confines of the zoo’s current tiger exhibit. The Tulsa Zoo will soon break ground on a new tiger exhibit, which will feature an immersive, naturalistic habitat for the tigers, allowing guests to see these endangered animals up-close.

In 2008, the IUCN Red List classified the Malayan Tiger as “Endangered”. Native to the Malay Peninsula, there are fewer than 500 Malayan Tigers left in the wild due to poaching and habitat loss. Once considered to be part of the Indochinese Tiger subspecies, the Malayan Tiger was recognized, in 2004, as a new tiger subspecies when genetic analysis found that they were distinct from the Indochinese Tiger.

The Malayan Tiger cubs’ birth, at the Tulsa Zoo, was in conjunction with the Species Survival Plan(SSP), which manages species in Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos across the nation.

Big Announcement at Indianapolis Zoo

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The Indianapolis Zoo recently celebrated International Tiger Day (July 29) by announcing the arrival of a new Amur Tiger cub!  The baby was born July 10, and first-time mother, Andrea, is doing an amazing job in her new role.  The pair have been bonding in a private indoor enclosure, but in due time, visitors to the zoo will meet the new cub.  Until then, the public can actively participate in the celebration of this happy event by helping select a name for the new Amur Tiger cub.  The Indianapolis Zoo will be posting more information via their facebook page: Indianapolis Zoo and White River Gardens

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Tiger cub_Indianapolis Zoo_3Photo Credits: Indianapolis Zoo/Laura Kriehn and Jill Burbank

With the arrival of the new baby, the Indianapolis Zoo is now home to four Amur Tigers.  The cub joins its parents, six year old Andrea and seven year old Petya, as well as, Cila, an eleven year old, who was also born at the zoo.

The Amur Tiger, also known as the Siberian Tiger, is currently listed as EN (Endangered) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.  This may seem a discouraging outlook for the tiger, but it is a marked improvement from just 18 years ago, when the Amur Tiger was still classified as CR (Critically Endangered).

Continue reading "Big Announcement at Indianapolis Zoo" »

UPDATE: Topeka Zoo's Tiger Cubs Have Mom by the Tail

10421179_654725794603777_3303628675568483363_nTopeka Zoo’s trio of Sumatran Tiger cubs, born on May 4, are becoming more active by the day!  Their favorite toy?  Mom’s tail!


10390577_654725791270444_4953586753070807953_nPhoto Credit:  Topeka Zoo

ZooBorns introduced the cubs in May when they were just over a week old.  The three female cubs soon outgrew their baby scale, and now wrestle and play at every opportunity to hone their survival skills.  Though not yet as fierce as an adult Tiger, the cubs do their best to attack broom handles, rubber boots, and of course, each other, as seen in the videos. 

Mom Jingga continues to be an excellent mother for her cubs.  These female cubs are valuable to the zoo-managed population of this Critically Endangered species.  Fewer than 500 Sumatran Tigers remain in the wild in Indonesia. 

See more videos of the cubs below.

Continue reading "UPDATE: Topeka Zoo's Tiger Cubs Have Mom by the Tail" »

UPDATE: Topeka's Tiger Cubs Outgrow the Baby Scale!


Three Sumatan Tiger cubs born on May 4 at the Topeka Zoo have grown so big that they no longer fit on the baby scale for their weigh-ins.


Photo Credit:  Topeka Zoo

The cubs, all female, are being well-cared for by their mother, Jingga.  But when the cubs were about three weeks old, keepers noticed that Jingga’s mammary glands were becoming irritated and she was not providing enough milk for her babies. 

To give the babies a boost, keepers give the cubs supplemental bottle feedings three times a day for about 30 minutes each time.  Other than at these feeding times, the cubs stay with mom and nurse from her regularly. 

Thanks to this extra help and continued maternal care from Jingga, the cubs each weigh more than 10 pounds!  They now are placed in a bucket so they’ll remain in one place during their weigh-ins.

See the cubs’ baby pictures when they debuted on ZooBorns in May.

Sumatran Tigers are listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with fewer than 500 cats remaining in the rain forests of Sumatra.  Intense pressure from the human population, along with unsustainable palm oil plantations, is pushing these cats closer to extinction every day.  Palm oil in is hundreds of everyday products, including foods and cosmetics.  You can help Tigers by purchasing products made with sustainable palm oil.

First Look at Topeka Zoo's Tiger Cubs

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On May 4, Topeka Zoo in Kansas welcomed three Sumatran Tiger cubs! Mother Jingga gave birth to the first cub around noon and a few hours later the third cub was confirmed. Jingga has her cubs tucked away in a den box located in an interior holding space. Staff are keeping an eye on the new family using a camera installed in the den box, and the cubs recently had their first veterinary checkup.

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Photo credit: Topeka Zoo

See and read more after the fold.

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Fresno Chaffee Zoo Welcomes a Litter of Tigers

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Mek, a female Malayan Tiger at Fresno Chaffee Zoo in California, has given birth to not one but four cubs! The litter, born on January 5, will remain in the den to bond with mom for the next few months.

At ten days-old, a veterinary checkup on the cubs found that everyone so far is healthy, strong and thriving. The sexes of the cubs have also been determined: two females and two males. 

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4 tigerPhoto credit: Fresno Chaffee Zoo

Visitors to the zoo can take peek at the mother and cubs on a live video monitor set up outside the exhibit. The cubs' father, Paka, will stay on exhibit. (In the wild, male tigers don't help to rear their own young.)

Tigers are listed as Endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List. According to the zoo, only about 3,000 tigers remain in the wild, and of those only around 500 are Malayan Tigers, a subspecies that inhabits the Malay Peninsula. Tigers are threatened by habitat loss and poaching. 

Mek and Paka are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP), which coordinates breeding of tigers between zoos in order to maintain healthy genetics in the captive population. The birth of these four cubs is great news for the conservation of these cats. 

Ah-choo! Tiger Cubs Arrive at Little Rock Zoo

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Early in the morning on November 12, Suhana the Malayan Tiger gave birth to four healthy cubs at the Little Rock Zoo.  The zoo staff monitors the family with remote cameras, where they captured this video of a sneezing cub.

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Photo Credit:  Little Rock Zoo


For now, the cubs are with Suhana in their den, where they will remain for several more weeks, and all signs indicate that the cubs are progressing exactly as they should.  Once the cubs are weaned at three to five months, they will move into the zoo’s newly-renovated outdoor Tiger habitat.

The breeding of Suhana, age five, and her mate, nine-year-old Liku, was recommended by the Species Survival Plan of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, which seeks to maintain a genetically-diverse zoo population of Malayan Tigers. 

Malayan Tigers are one of six existing Tiger subspecies.  Three subspecies – Javan, Caspian, and Bali – have gone extinct within the last 80 years.  In the wild, fewer than 500 Malayan Tigers remain in the forests of the Malay Peninsula and the southernmost tip of Thailand. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists all Tigers as Endangered.