Woodland Park Zoo’s Gorilla Baby Needs Hands-On Care
Rescued Manatee Finds A Home At Cincinnati Zoo

Tiger Cub Gets Life-Saving Help From Keepers

Staff at Zoo Miami have intervened to support a critically endangered Sumatran Tiger cub whose health was failing.

12342726_997927980229505_3897901829118046434_nPhoto Credit:  Ron Magill

The male cub, who you met on ZooBorns shortly after he was born on November 14 to four-year-old Leeloo, had been developing well.  But because this was Leeloo’s first cub, keepers kept an extra-close watch on the little one’s development by weighing him regularly.  After two weeks of weight gain, the cub lost weight for several days in a row. 

Keepers believe that the single cub was not creating enough nursing stimulation, therefore Leeloo’s milk production had begun to diminish, which is not uncommon in first-time mothers with single cubs.  In the wild, a cub like this would probably not survive.

To support the cub and ensure that he develops properly, keepers have begun separating the cub from Leeloo regularly and offering supplemental bottle feedings.  Fortunately, the cub tolerates the feedings well, and more importantly, Leeloo accepts him back after the feedings, grooms him, and socializes with him.  This is crucial for the cub’s development so he can learn how to be a Tiger and socialize with other Tigers – and vitally important to his future as he breeds and contributes to the survival of his species.

Sumatran Tigers are native only to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, where fewer than 500 of these magnificent cats remain.  Excessive deforestation for the planting of palm oil plantations has been a major factor in the decline of Sumatran Tigers.  They are listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

See more photos of the cub below.


Related articles