Sumatran Tiger Born at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Baby Tiger_WEB

A single male Sumatran Tiger cub was born at 1:54 a.m. Sept. 14, at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Tull Family Tiger Trail, to first-time parents Teddy and Joanne.

Although Joanne cared for the cub the first few days, keepers noticed the cub was losing weight, and felt he wasn’t receiving the proper care he needed to thrive. The Safari Park’s animal care team made the difficult decision to hand-rear the cub. He was moved to the Ione and Paul Harter Animal Care Center, at the Safari Park, where he is now being cared for around the clock.

Baby Tiger Closeup_WEB

Baby Tiger Feeding_WEBPhoto Credits: San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The cub is the 26th endangered Sumatran Tiger to be born at the Safari Park, and he is the first cub to be hand-reared at the park since 1984. At the care center, he’s being bottle fed seven times a day with an easily digestible goats’ milk formula, made especially for carnivores.

“We’re very happy with our little cub’s progress; he took to the bottle and started nursing right away,” said Lissa McCaffree, Lead Keeper, Mammal Department. “He’s been gaining weight very consistently each day, and last night he reached a milestone—he opened his eyes for the first time.”

The cub now weighs 3.36 pounds and is gaining strength in his legs, walking around his nursery enclosure. He’s also learning to make tiger vocalizations, such as meows, grunts, and low chuffing sounds. Chuffing is a vocalization tigers make as a way to express excitement, or as a greeting.

Guests will be able to see the cub in the near future at the Ione and Paul Harter Animal Care Center in the Safari Park during his bottle feeding times, which will be posted daily in front of the viewing window.

With the addition of this tiny cub, the Safari Park is now home to seven Sumatran Tigers. There are fewer than 350 Sumatran Tigers in the wild, and that number continues to drop. Scientists estimate that this species could be extinct in its native Sumatra by 2020, unless measures are taken to protect and preserve it.

Tigers face many challenges in the wild, from loss of habitat to conflicts with humans, but the biggest threat continues to be poaching. Tigers are killed by poachers who illegally sell tiger body parts, mostly for folk remedies. People can help protect wild tigers by avoiding products made with non-sustainable palm oil, an industry that harms tiger habitat; and by refusing to purchase items made from endangered wildlife.

Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes on-site wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. The work of these entities is inspiring children through the San Diego Zoo Kids network, reaching out through the Internet and in children’s hospitals nationwide. The work of San Diego Zoo Global is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.

Tiger Trio Boosts Endangered Species

11174275_10152848601202106_7914475494008818571_oThree Tiger cubs born April 21 at theColumbus Zoo & Aquarium bring hope to the critically endangered Amur Tiger population.

Photo Credit:  Columbus Zoo & Aquarium

The trio, all males, each weighed about 2.5 pounds at birth.   They are the first litter for female Irisa.  Zoo staff spent the first day closely monitoring Irisa and her newborns via a remote camera system.  When it became clear that Irisa was not nursing her cubs, the zoo staff decided to hand-rear these important youngsters.

There are only about 400 Amur Tigers (formerly called Siberian Tigers) remaining in Russia’s Far East, making each zoo-born cub extremely important to the genetic diversity of the species.  The wild population once dipped as low as 40 animals in the 1940s, but improved law enforcement and conservation programs have boosted the population in recent decades.  Poaching continues to be the number one threat to these magnificent cats, which are the largest of the six surviving Tiger subspecies.  Three Tiger subspecies have gone extinct in the last 100 years.

The Columbus Zoo participates in the Species Survival Plan for Amur Tigers, which aims to sustain a genetically healthy population of these rare cats.


Sumatran Tiger Trio Got Their Stripes...and Names

The three cubs together after their check ups (1)

In late January, Chester Zoo announced the birth of three endangered Sumatran Tiger Cubs. ZooBorns was excited to share the news and introduced our readers to the tiny trio.

The three cubs together after their check ups (3)

The cubs get a lick from Kirana after their check ups (2)

One of the tiger cubs is carried by a keeper to its health check up (1)Photo Credits: Chester Zoo

The cubs, born to 8-year-old mum, ‘Kirana’, and 7-year-old dad, ‘Fabi’, were found to be two males and one female.  The, now 12-week-old, triplets were carefully examined, weighed and vaccinated by the zoo’s specialist vets and carnivore keepers.

Supporters of the Zoo were given the opportunity to vote on the names for the trio, and the top-voted monikers were recently announced. The two boys were named ‘Jaya’ (meaning victorious) and ‘Topan’ (hurricane). The girl was given the name ‘Kasarna’ (beautiful melody).

Gabby Drake, vet at Chester Zoo, said, “Sumatran Tigers are one of the rarest big cat species in the world, and our new triplets are very special cubs indeed. It’s really important for us to make sure they’re healthy and in good physical condition and we’re happy to report that all three of the cubs have been given a clean bill of health – they’re in tip-top shape.”

Gabby continued, “The cubs were given similar vaccines to those a pet cat receives when it’s taken to the vets. Of course we were much more cautious about handling the cubs than we would be with domestic kittens though. We checked them over as quickly as we could before returning them to their mum, Kirana. She’s a very good mother and fiercely protective of her young charges, so we certainly didn't want to hang around for long.” 

Sumatran Tigers are found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. They are the smallest of all tigers and have the narrowest stripes.

Critically endangered in the wild, there are believed to be just 300-400 Sumatran Tigers left, as they are often targeted by poachers who use their body parts as traditional medicine. Much of their jungle habitat has also been destroyed.

More amazing pics, below the fold!

Continue reading "Sumatran Tiger Trio Got Their Stripes...and Names" »

Rare Tiger Cub Makes Her Debut

An Amur Tiger cub at Germany’s Zoo Berlin made her media debut last week.  The cub, named Alisha, is the only member of her litter to survive.


10418420_10153011653910149_5941699341082301307_nPhoto Credit:  Zoo Berlin

In December, three cubs were born to female Aurora and her mate, Darius, the third litter for this pair.  Unfortunately, two of the cubs did not survive.  When keepers observed that the remaining cub was in poor condition, they decided to hand-raise her.

Little Alisha is thriving under the keepers’ care.  For now, she spends much of her time sleeping, but zoo officials expect Alisha to move onto exhibit within a few weeks.

Amur Tigers, also known as Siberian Tigers, are the largest of the six surviving Tiger subspecies.  Native to far eastern Russia, the population of Amur Tigers dropped to fewer than 50 cats in the 1940s.  Today, thanks to improved law enforcement against illegal hunting, there are now nearly 400 Amur Tigers in the wild.  While Amur Tigers are still listed as Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, scientists are hopeful that the upward trend will continue for these magnificent cats.

Rare Tiger Cubs Venture Out of Den


A trio of tiny Sumatran Tiger cubs has made their first public appearance at Chester Zoo. 



10952268_10152996809300912_3374509011826957704_nPhoto Credits: Chester Zoo

The four-week-old Tiger triplets were born on January 2nd but have just started to emerge from their den, as their proud mother starts to show them off. 

The cubs are the off-spring of eight-year-old ‘Kirana’ and seven-year-old dad ‘Fabi’.

There are believed to be just 300-400 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild, as they are often targeted by poachers who use their body parts as traditional medicine and much of their jungle habitat has been destroyed.

Curator of mammals, Tim Rowlands, said, “Sumatran Tigers are one of the rarest big cat species in the world. That’s what makes our new Tiger trio so incredibly special; they’re a rare boost to an animal that’s critically endangered.

“It’s still early days but Kirana is an experienced mum, and she’s keeping her cubs very well protected. She’s doing everything we would hope at this stage.” 

Sumatran Tigers are found only on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra. They are the smallest of all Tigers and also have the narrowest stripes. 

Mr. Rowlands added, “The arrival of this latest trio of cubs is vital to the ongoing survival of the species and the back-up population found in zoos. They are now part of a safety-net against the population in the wild becoming extinct which, to me, is incredibly humbling.”

It will be several weeks until keepers can discover the sexes of the Tiger triplets and a decision can be made on their names. 

More amazing pics, below the fold!

Continue reading "Rare Tiger Cubs Venture Out of Den" »

Clean-up Time for Tiger Triplets


It was recently bath-time for Sumatran Tiger, ‘Jaya’ and her female cubs, at Point Defiance Zoo.  ‘Kirana’, ‘Dari’, and ‘Indah’ seemed to be enjoying their beautification routine with mom. 



10929117_10152714563699624_6544985182555077372_oPhoto Credits: Point Defiance Zoo

The cubs’ birth was part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, for Sumatran Tigers.

Only about 300 Sumatran Tigers remain in the wild on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Their numbers are dramatically dwindling due to poaching and habitat destruction, primarily for the growth of oil palms. There are just 80 Sumatran Tigers in North American zoos and approximately 400 in zoos worldwide.

The three cubs bring the total number of tigers at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to nine. In addition to ‘Jaya’ and her litter, the zoo is home to Sumatran Tigers ‘Malosi’ (the cubs’ father), ‘Bima’, ‘Dumai’ and ‘Kali’. Malayan tiger ‘Berani’ also lives in the zoo’s Asian Forest Sanctuary. The tigers rotate on and off a number of exhibits.

Continue reading "Clean-up Time for Tiger Triplets" »

Mom Has Her Paws Full With Tiger Triplets


Jaya the Sumatran Tiger has her paws full as she keeps up with her three cubs, born on October 8 at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.



Photo Credit:  Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Introduced on ZooBorns a few months ago, the three female cubs, named Kirana, Dari, and Indah, weighed between 2.5 and 3 pounds at birth.  They now weigh about 22 pounds each and are beginning to eat small amounts of meat in addition to mother’s milk.

The cubs are starting to show distinct personalities. Kirana is the "sassy" one who likes to run after her sisters and nip at them. Dari is mellow and tends to hang back a bit. Indah is feisty and vocal, often using her voice to get attention from Jaya.

Kirana, Indah, and Dari represent a success in the Species Survival Plan for Sumatran Tigers. Fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers exist in the wild on their native island of Sumatra, and their numbers are dwindling due to habitat loss and poaching.  Only about 80 Sumatran Tigers live in United States zoos.  

See more photos of the cubs below.

Continue reading "Mom Has Her Paws Full With Tiger Triplets " »

Malayan Tiger Brothers Stick Together


Two male Malayan Tigers were born, November 16th, at Alexandria Zoo, in Louisiana. The two healthy baby boys were born to 15-year-old father, ‘Jammu’, and 6-year-old mother, ‘Yatti’. 



MalayanCubs_AlexandriaZoo_3Photo Credits: Alexandria Zoo

After an approximately 104-day gestation period, the cubs were born blind, and weighed about 2 to 3 pounds. Although mother, Yatti, is doing well, she was not providing adequate care for the cubs, after their birth. Zoo keepers made the decision to hand raise the cubs, in order to insure they were provided with the proper feeding and care they needed to survive. The cubs will begin to wean at about six weeks. Once they are a bit older and their personalities begin to develop, the Zoo will also name the cubs.

Alexandria Zoo participates in the Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP). This program works to maintain sustainable, genetically diverse tiger populations and supports research on tiger biology and care. The program also raises awareness about the plight of tigers and funding for their conservation.

With less than 500 Malayan Tigers remaining in the wild, each Malayan Tiger birth is a significant one. Approximately 60 Malayan Tigers are housed at 27 North American institutions. The SSP's target population size is 150. Alexandria Zoo worked cooperatively with the SSP coordinator to make the decision to hand-raise the cubs.

The Tiger SSP coordinators will determine how long the cubs will stay at Alexandria Zoo and what institution(s) they will be moved to. The cubs could potentially stay at Alexandria Zoo for up to two years.

Malayan Tigers are native to the tropical forests of peninsular Malaysia. Habitat loss and poaching of both the tigers and their prey are the greatest threats the species faces.

All tigers are extremely endangered and three subspecies have already become extinct.

More video and photos below the fold!

Continue reading "Malayan Tiger Brothers Stick Together" »

Sumatran Tiger Siblings Born at Hamilton Zoo


Hamilton Zoo has two new cuties of the feline variety. The zoo’s female Sumatran Tiger, ‘Sali’, gave birth to a pair of cubs earlier this month. The male and female cubs are a significant achievement for both the species and the popular Hamilton, New Zealand visitor attraction.


HamiltonZoo_SumatranCubs_3Photo Credits: Hamilton Zoo

Hamilton Zoo Curator, Samantha Kudeweh says, “She gave birth on November 16th, but we needed to keep this news under wraps to ensure a stress-free start to motherhood for Sali. For any first-time mother, those first few days are very important, so we kept our distance and just observed what we could.”

Mrs. Kudeweh says staff were able to assess the cubs for the first time this week. The male cub weighed in at 2.15 kg (4.7 lbs), while his sister was slightly smaller at 2.04kg (4.5 lbs).

“They are fat, loveable, and very strong,” Mrs. Kudeweh says. “Like most newborns, they’re noisy and easily tired, but do seem to be doing okay. They have just started opening their eyes and their ears have begun to unfurl.”

Staff will inspect the cubs weekly over the next three months, monitoring their weight gain and general health. The two cubs have different markings on their necks, which is how they will be identified for the next few months.

Mrs. Kudeweh says Sali will likely remain extremely protective of her offspring for the first two months of their lives, keeping them in her den. Mrs. Kudeweh expects the two cubs to become visible to zoo patrons in late December or early January.

“Once they’re out and about, they’ll demonstrate those traits which make them so loveable! They’ll be adventurous, active, busy, playful and smart.”

The arrival of the cub’s father, ‘Oz’, at Hamilton Zoo, earlier this year was planned as part of the Global Species Management plan for Sumatran Tigers. His introduction to Sali was intended to result in cubs. The birth of the two cubs is a significant achievement for Hamilton Zoo, and the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger species.

“This is career highlight for me and the rest of the team involved,” Mrs. Kudeweh says. “It’s very exciting for the zoo and the species.”

The Sumatran Tiger is a rare sub-species of the tiger. The species is only found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and the gradual decline in its population is attributed to human activity, particularly impacts on their natural forest habitat. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimates only 500 of the animals live in the wild. 

Help Name Three Sumatran Tiger Cubs

Cubs oct. 29, 2014

Three endangered Sumatran Tiger Cubs, at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington, need names!



140922_pdza_108Photo Credits: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium/Ingrid Barrentine

Zoo staff members are eager to have names for the tiny tiger triplets and are conducting a public vote on a slate of names for the 3-week-old cubs. In the spirit of the season, voting begins today!

The zoo is also releasing the tiger cubs’ first official photos, taken during a well-cub check by staff veterinarian Dr. Allison Case and staff biologist Christy Webster.

The three female cubs, born Oct. 8, are healthy and thriving. They are living behind the scenes in the zoo’s Asian Forest Sanctuary with their mother, ‘Jaya’, who is very attentive to their needs. The cubs, who weighed between 2.5 and 3 pounds each at birth, now weigh in at 7.67, 7.80 and 8.31 pounds.

There is no date set for their public debut, but it will likely occur in just over a month when the cubs have grown a bit more and are not quite as wobbly on their legs. The new family is also enjoying additional bonding time. Cool outdoor temperatures could also play a role in when the tiny tigers come out to meet the public. 

Members of the public may vote on names, which Asian Forest Sanctuary staff biologists chose from Bahasa Indonesia, the Indonesian language. The cubs will receive the top three names. Voting runs through Nov. 13 and the names will be announced Nov. 14.

The public may vote at www.pdza.org/cubs  and can find another link at https://www.facebook.com/PtDefianceZoo.

Once the votes are tallied, zookeepers will decide which name best fits which cub based on their personalities and appearances.

“The birth of the three cubs also presents a rich opportunity for the public to learn more about Sumatran Tigers, which are a critically endangered species,” Goodrowe Beck said. “Every one of these tigers is precious. We strongly want tiger species to survive so they will be there for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren to see and appreciate.”

The cubs’ birth was part of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for Sumatran Tigers. Goodrowe Beck coordinates the SSP for North America.

Only about 300 Sumatran Tigers remain in the wild on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Their numbers are dramatically dwindling due to poaching and habitat destruction, primarily for the growth of oil palms. There are just 80 Sumatran Tigers in North American zoos and approximately 400 in zoos worldwide.

The three cubs bring the total number of tigers at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to nine. In addition to ‘Jaya’ and her litter, the zoo is home to Sumatran Tigers ‘Malosi’ (the cubs’ father), ‘Bima’, ‘Dumai’ and ‘Kali’. Malayan tiger ‘Berani’ also lives in the zoo’s Asian Forest Sanctuary. The tigers rotate on and off a number of exhibits.

More great photos below the fold!

Continue reading "Help Name Three Sumatran Tiger Cubs" »