What's orange and striped and fun all over? Tiger cubs at the San Diego Zoo!
I spent time with a pair of Malayan tiger cubs at the San Diego Zoo today. This was behind the scenes and the cubs video debut. I spoke with Zoo Keeper, Rochelle Willison and in approximately another month the cubs should be able to maneuver freely around on their own and will make their public debut.
Malayan tigers are a critically endangered subspecies, with only about 500 cats left in the wild; they are the second smallest of the tiger subspecies. These male cubs can reach 250 pounds when full grown.
The San Diego Zoo contributes to the conservation of the Malayan tiger by partnering with other zoos involved in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species
Survival Plan, a management tool that helps meet conservation goals through breeding programs for endangered species. The Zoo is home to five Malayan tigers.
Fun cub facts
+ These are the 12th and 13th Malayan tiger cub births at the Zoo.
+ They were born April 2, 2011 to mom, Mek Degong, and dad, Paku
+ This is the mother's third litter for a total of 7 cubs from her.
+ It was a very easy birth with no complications. The cubs were born 1 1/2 hours apart
+ This birth is very important since both parents are from the wild and it is important to keeping a diverse gene pool.
+ For play: The cubs love to tear up magazines, boxes and plants, climb on logs and rough house with mom.
+ The cubs start eating solid food at ~ 3 1/2 mo and are fully weaned by 5 mo.
+ No official names yet for the cubs.
About the non-profit San Diego Zoo
The 100-acre San Diego Zoo located in Balboa Park is dedicated to the conservation of endangered species and their habitats. The organization focuses on conservation and research work around the globe, educates millions of individuals a year about wildlife and maintains accredited horticultural, animal, library and photo collections. The Zoo also manages the
1,800-acre San Diego Zoo Safari Park (historically referred to as the Wild Animal Park), which includes a 900-acre native species reserve, and the San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research.