The Sumatran Tiger cub, at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens (JZG), had its first wellness check recently, and the Zoo’s vets confirmed that the cub is healthy and… a female!
The cub is almost 48 cm (19 inches) long, weighs 3.46 kg (7.5 pounds). She's eating well and mom is taking excellent care of her. Mom normally feeds in a separate room for the first few days. When the mother separates from the cub, Zoo Staff gradually extend the time period to see how comfortable she is. Once the staff have gained the trust of the mother and feel she is comfortable, they cautiously and quickly take that opportunity to exam the cub. The entire check up lasted about five minutes.
Guests can try to catch a glimpse of the cub via television monitor in the Zoo’s ‘Land of the Tiger’ exhibit building.
The cub was born in the early morning hours of November 19, less than a week before Thanksgiving. She is the first tiger born at JZG in 35 years, and the fifth Sumatran Tiger born in the U.S. this year. First-time mother Dorcas (also known as Lucy) is 4-years-old and came to JZG from the Oklahoma City Zoo. Berani, the 14-year-old father, is also a first-time parent who came to JZG from the Akron Zoo.
ZooBorns introduced the new cub to our readers in an article from the beginning of the month: “Zoo Thankful for First Tiger Cub in Over Three Decades”
The Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is the smallest of the six subspecies in existence today. They are only found on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. Originally, nine tiger subspecies were found in parts of Asia, but three subspecies have become extinct in the 20th century. Less than 400 Sumatran Tigers remain in the wild. They are currently classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List.
"Protecting tigers involves protecting the animals they prey upon,” said John Lukas, Conservation and Science Manager at JZG. “Illegal hunting and snaring removes natural tiger food from the forest and forces tigers to kill domestic livestock to survive.”
To combat extinction of those tigers in the wild, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens supports a Wildlife Protection Unit on the island of Sumatra. The unit patrols the national forest, removing traps and snares that harm Sumatran Tigers and their prey, and they also keep poachers out of the reserve.