Tiger Twins’ Birth Caught on Camera at Chester Zoo


In remarkable closed-circuit television footage, Chester Zoo’s female Sumatran Tiger Kirana gives birth to the first of two cubs on June 2.  The cub appears about 30 seconds into the video.



Photo Credit:  Chester Zoo


Kirana’s mate, six-year-old Fabi, does not participate in the birth at all, and in fact walks away during the event.

The gender of the two healthy cubs is not yet known.  They will spend several weeks behind the scenes with seven-year-old Kirana. 

This is the second litter for Kirana, who also gave birth to sisters Nila and Tila in 2011. Both of those cubs have moved to other European zoos as part of a cooperative breeding program aimed at increasing genetic diversity among these endangered cats. 

Only about 400 Sumatran Tigers remain in the wild on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.  Zoo breeding programs could prove vital to the survival of this species, which is at great risk from habitat loss and poaching.

See more photos below the fold.

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Twin Tiger Cubs Thriving Behind the Scenes at Burgers' Zoo

Tiger cu

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.

Tiger look

TIger solo cu

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.

Tiger birth:


First wobbly steps:


Mom picking up straying cub:

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Endangered Tiger Cub Trio Born at Busch Gardens Tampa

Tigers CU

Three endangered Malayan Tiger cubs were born at Busch Gardens Tampa on March 31. The litter consists of two males and one female, each weighing between six and seven pounds. They are currently being monitored around the clock by the park’s animal care team. These newborn cubs will add to the genetic diversity of the Malayan Tiger population and contribute to conservation efforts for the species. Malayan Tigers are Critically Endangered. Scientists estimate that only 500 remain in the wild. 

Malayan Tiger cub births in managed care are rare – just one successful birth in 2012 as part of the SSP. These are the first born at Busch Gardens Tampa and the first offspring for both the mother Bzui and father Mata. The cubs, along with their parents, are currently behind the scenes and are being monitored around the clock by the park’s animal care team.

Tiger nurse

Tiger play
Photo Credit: Busch Gardens Tampa

The births are part of park’s partnership in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP). The mission of the SSP is to cooperatively manage specific, and typically threatened or endangered, species populations within AZA-accredited facilities. There are currently just over 50 Malayan Tigers in the Species Survival Plan.

Read much more about the cubs after the fold:

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UPDATE: Baby Tiger Gets Her Bottle at Point Defiance Zoo


A 3-week-old endangered Sumatran Tiger cub made her first public appearance at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium last week, and zoo visitors can now watch twice a day as the cub, named Kali, is bottle-fed by zoo keepers.



Tiger cub
Photo credit: Jesse Michener/Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium


The Tiger was born April 17 to mom Jaya. Malosi is her father.  “She’s spunky, robust, and energetic,” zoo staff biologist Steven Ok said. Kali gets about three ounces of formula five times a day.  Zoo visitors can watch the 10 am and 2 pm feedings.

Sumatran Tigers are critically endangered. Kali is only the third Sumatran Tiger born in North America this year.  There are 74 Sumatran Tigers in North American zoos, and an estimated 300 left in their native habitat on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

The Species Survival Plan® works to ensure genetic diversity in the zoo-based Tiger population through careful breeding recommendations and management.  Habitat loss and poaching are the Tigers’ greatest threats.

“Every Tiger is precious,” said Karen Goodrowe Beck, zoo general curator, who also chairs the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Sumatran Tiger Species Survival Plan. “We are very pleased at the birth of this cub and with her progress to date. Female cubs are particularly needed in this population. She is a welcome addition.”

UPDATE: Amur Tiger Cubs Thriving at Nordens Ark


Born on April 12, three Amur Tiger cubs at Sweden’s Nordens Ark are thriving. The cubs recently sat for a quick photo shoot.  In the video, two of the cubs were tuckered out, but the third cub had other ideas! 

Photo Credit: Tom Svensson


The two-and-a-half-week-old cubs were born to mother Sparta and remain with her in the birthing den for now.  Honan continues to provide excellent maternal care for her offspring.  The family will move onto public display sometime this summer.  You can see the cubs’ first baby pictures here

Amur Tigers are also known as Siberian Tigers.  They are native to the far northeastern regions of Russia and are the largest of the six living Tiger subspecies.  With only 400 individuals remaining in the wild, zoo-born animals like these three cubs are increasingly important to the survival of the species.


UPDATE! Sacramento Zoo's Playful Tiger Cub is Walking (and Roaring)

T swats tail

The little male Sumatran Tiger cub, born on March 3rd to mother Bahagia at the Sacramento Zoo, is now eight weeks old. ZooBorns has been reporting on the baby's birth and growth, which you can find HERE and HERE. Named CJ, the cub is now a hefty 16 pounds, has almost all of his teeth in and is very playful with mom. He is not eating solid food yet, but has shown interest by investigating Mom's meals.

The latest development is that CJ is walking!  He spends a lot of time following Mom around, exploring the den, and expanding on his his new abilities with little bouts of jumping.

T mom and mouth

T feet

T hugs mom

Photo Credit Erik Bowker

You can see how playful CJ is with Mom in the video below. Listen to him practice his baby roar near the beginning!

See more pictures after the fold:

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UPDATE! It's Nap Time for Point Defiance Zoo's Sumatran Tiger Cub


Point Defiance Zoo's tiny baby Sumatran Tiger, whose birth was first announced HERE on ZooBorns, is growing. She's gaining weight too, as staff feeds and cares for her around the clock. This cub is a rare and precious gift, as she is one of only three Sumatran Tiger cubs born in North America so far this year. She does not yet have a name.  Her mom, Jaya, is back in the exhibit and doing well.

Sumatran Tigers are highly endangered. There are only 74 in North American zoos and approximately 200 in zoos around the world. Only about 250 to 300 remain in their native habitat on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.




Watch as the little one takes a snooze:

Photo Credit: Point Defiance Zoo

Nordens Ark Welcomes Three Amur Tiger Cubs


A litter of Amur Tiger cubs was born on April 12 at Sweden's Nordens Ark. The three cubs, two males and a female, were born to mother who is important to the European breeding program for this critically endangered species. For the next few weeks, the cubs will remain with Honan in the den. According to zoo keepers, Honan is a great mother and is very gentle with her cubs. The family will make a public debut early this summer.



Photo Credit:  Tom Svensson/Nordens Ark

Amur Tigers, also known as Siberian Tigers, are the largest of the six living Tiger subspecies, with males attaining a head and body length of well over six feet (200 cm) and a weight of more than 400 pounds (180 kg).  They inhabit remote mountain areas of the Russian Far East.  With fewer than 400 individuals and a breeding population of about 250 adults, Amur Tigers are classified as endangered, due primarily to poaching.  A number of international agreements to ban trade and enhance surveillance may be helping to stabilize the population, though low genetic diversity within the wild population may threaten the future of this species.

Critically Endangered Tiger Cub Born at Point Defiance

Sumatran Tiger Cub Point Defiance Zoo 1.jpg

This past Wednesday the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington welcomed a critically endangered Sumatran Tiger cub. Zoological staff are closely watching over mom Jaya and the 2.5-pound female cub. Both appear to be healthy and are resting behind the scenes.

It’s the third litter for 9-year-old Jaya. The father is Malosi, who came to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium from Honolulu Zoo last year as part of an approved breeding program through the Species Survival Plan for Sumatran Tigers.

Sumatran Tiger Cub Point Defiance Zoo 2a

Sumatran Tiger Cub Point Defiance Zoo 2

“We are elated with this birth,” Goodrowe Beck said. “Sumatran Tigers are highly endangered. There are only 74 in North American zoos and approximately 200 in zoos around the world. Only about 250 to 300 remain in their native habitat on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.” Goodrowe Beck chairs the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for Sumatran Tigers.

Zoo deputy director John Houck celebrated the zoo’s leadership in the breeding program. “Today there is one more precious Sumatran Tiger in the world,” Houck said. “This is a confirmation of worldwide efforts to conserve this magnificent species.”

Jaya’s two sons, 3-year-old Bima and 8-month-old Dumai, are among the five Sumatran Tigers now at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The zoo also is home to Berani, an 8-month-old Malayan Tiger.

Tiger Mom, Jaya

Point Defiance Zoo Sumatran Tiger Mom JayaPhoto credits: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

UPDATE! Tiger Cub Explores the Great Outdoors


Fans at the San Francisco Zoo were finally able to see the zoo’s eight-week-old Sumatran Tiger cub for the first time when she explored her outdoor exhibit on Friday, April 12.

You met this unnamed female cub on the pages of ZooBorns after her first vet check-up, but since her birth on February 10, the little cub has been denned up with her mother Leanne.  Last week, the San Francisco Zoo staff determined that the 14-pound cub was strong enough to venture into her outdoor enclosure.  On Wednesday morning, the staff supervised a trial run for Leanne and her cub. A very attentive mother, Leanne immediately carried her cub to a safe, protected area in the exhibit, but the two were soon frolicking and playing. The cub eventually allowed Leanne to lead her up the exhibit’s stairs several times for practice, proving that Leanne is a seasoned mother who knows what’s best for her cub. 




Photo Credit:  Marianne Hale for the San Francisco Zoo


“Providing the cub the opportunity to explore the outside world is a significant step in her development,” says Curator of Carnivores and Primates Corinne MacDonald. “The cub will build up her strength and confidence watching her mother, Leanne, and she’ll learn from her while navigating her new environment. We are thrilled to finally be able to show our Tiger cub off outside to all of her fans!” 

The Sumatran Tiger is critically endangered, with fewer than 400 individuals remaining in the wilds of Sumatra.  As the smallest of the remaining Tiger subspecies, the Sumatran Tiger is well suited for life in the deep jungle. The greatest threat to survival is destruction of habitat, followed by poaching.

See more photos of Leanne and her cub below the fold.

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