Four baby cubs have been born in the last two weeks, with the National Zoo in Washington D.C. announcing that its eight-year-old tiger Damai has given birth, and the Oklahoma City Zoo reporting that its six-year-old tiger Lola has given birth to triplets.
The Sumatran tiger is a critically endangered species, with less than 500 left in the wild, so these new arrivals are especially important, and also, especially cute. Animal care staff are allowing Damai and the cub time to bond, so it may be some time before veterinarians can determine the cub's sex. "The result is this unbelievable little cub".
Sparky and Damai bred between February and March after a compatibility testing period, and zookeepers confirmed the pregnancy with a June 8 ultrasound. The cub is several months away from visitation, as it first needs to pass a swim test and physical examinations before it is cleared for public viewing. In July 2016, Sparky arrived from the Louisville Zoo following a breeding recommendation from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums' Sumatran tiger Species Survival Plan. Damai has been a mom before and gave birth to cubs Bandar and Sukacita in 2013. They were slowly introduced to each other beginning in September 2016. Once they showed an interest in breeding, keepers gave them an opportunity to spend time together indoors.
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A rare Sumatran tiger has been born at the National Zoo, officials said Wednesday. According to the zoo, the cub and mom appear to be healthy and quite cuddly together.
The newborn tiger is part of Damai's second litter.