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UPDATE: Sacramento Zoo’s Sumatran Tiger Cub Growing Strong


The Sumatran Tiger cub born on March 3 at the Sacramento Zoo is meeting important developmental milestones as he grows bigger and stronger each day.  With fewer than 500 Sumatran Tigers in the wild and only 200 in zoos, this little cub represents hope for this critically endangered species.

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Photo Credits:  Sacramento Zoo


You first met this cub on ZooBorns a few weeks ago.  Born to mom Bahagia, the cub has been named after his dad Castro but he’s already been nicknamed CJ, for Castro Jr.  Castro (the father) was diagnosed with lymphoma, a form of cancer, in early February. 

CJ’s eyes are now open and he is learning to walk, though you’ll see in the video that he prefers to scoot on all four legs.   A veterinary exam on March 22 revealed that CJ weighed nearly eight pounds, had no teeth yet, and was 53 cm from neck to tail. 

Bahagia and CJ spend most of the day inside the nest box, emerging only for short periods each day, which is typical for Tigers in the wild and in zoos.  Zoo keepers expect mom and cub to remain behind the scenes until sometime in May or June.

Sumatran Tigers are critically endangered and found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.  The Sacramento Zoo participates in the Sumatran Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP), coordinated by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums. SSPs are cooperative breeding and conservation programs designed to maintain genetically viable populations of animals in captivity, and to organize zoo and aquarium-based efforts to preserve the species in nature.

See more photos of CJ below the fold.