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A Tiger Cub’s Christmas List

1_Lucy and her cub

Jacksonville Zoo’s most adorable newcomer celebrated her first Christmas!

The 8-pound-plus Sumatran Tiger cub, at almost two-months-old, is at a rambunctious age and growing bigger each day. She now needs enrichment items to strengthen her teeth and muscles. Items such as wind chimes, windsocks, Boomer balls, and Bungee cords help promote playful instincts and challenge her mind.

Jacksonville Zoo compiled a Wish List in time for Christmas, and Zoo patrons have helped "Santa" fulfill many items on the list.

Toys and other items can still be purchased by anyone and shipped directly to the Zoo, via JZG’s Amazon Wish List. For more information, visit: www.jacksonvillezoo.org/wishlist

Items can also be mailed directly to the Jacksonville Zoo at this address: 370 Zoo Parkway, Jacksonville Florida 32218

2_Tiger Cub close up - Credit to Janel Jankowski

3_Tiger Cub 1 - Credit to Janel Jankowski

4_Tiger Cub 2 - Credit to Janel JankowskiPhoto Credits: Janel Jankowski

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 in an article from the beginning of December: “Zoo Thankful for First Tiger Cub in Over Three Decades”, and we have been eagerly supplying updates on the tiger’s progress, to our readers.

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.