Two critically endangered Sumatran tigers born at Tiger Territory
Two of the world’s rarest tigers have been born at ZSL London Zoo, with zookeepers capturing their first moments on hidden cameras.
The as-yet unsexed twins were born to seven-year-old Sumatran tigress Melati, on Monday 27 June 2016, after a 108-day pregnancy.
Keeping a close eye on the pregnant tigress, zookeepers noticed she was going into labour and monitored the births using a remote camera system they’ve nicknamed cubcam.
They watched excitedly as the first cub arrived at 9:19am, followed by the second at 10:02am. After a thorough clean from mum the youngsters nestled in for their first feed.
Melati and her cubs, who have yet to open their eyes, remain largely tucked away together inside their special cubbing dens with Melati occasionally venturing outside for food.
Assistant curator of mammals Teague Stubbington said: “We’re overjoyed with our new arrivals, and with how Melati is responding to her two cubs.
“The cubcam allows us to observe the youngsters 24/7 while not disturbing mum or dad at all, which is ideal while they get to know their babies.
“One of us is always on duty to keep an eye on the little ones throughout the night. Dad Jae Jae has also been spotted taking a peek at his new-borns!”
With wild Sumatran tiger numbers estimated to be as low as 300 individuals, the cubs represent a huge achievement not just for ZSL London Zoo but for the global breeding programme of this critically endangered species.
ZSL works in Indonesia to protect wild Sumatran tigers, and country manager Andjar Rafiastanto said: “This is exciting news for the Sumatran tiger, a flagship species for the ZSL conservation programme in Indonesia.
“ZSL has been in Sumatra for more than 14 years, working with our government counterparts to increase the protection of Sumatran tigers. The birth of these two tiger cubs brings us hope for their long-term survival.”
While mum Melati relaxes with her babies, visitors to ZSL London Zoo can still see eight-year-old dad Jae Jae hanging out in Tiger Territory and zookeepers will be revealing exclusive cubcam footage on ZSL’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/zslvideo.
Notes to Editors
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Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Pressat Wire, on Thursday 30 June, 2016. For more information subscribe and follow http://www.pressat.co.uk/