Thursday Jul 13, 2017
A teeny tiny newborn cub was born to a Sumatran tiger two days ago at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, DC, and it has us gushing with love.
The cub, which “appears to be nursing, moving and behaving normally”, as per the Zoo, belongs to a critically endangered species of big cats – presently in the range of 300-400 in number, the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s estimates indicate.
“This is such an exciting time for us, not only because we have a cub who appears to be doing great, but also because this animal’s genes are extremely valuable to the North American population,” Craig Saffoe, curator of the Great Cats habitat, stated on the zoo’s website.
Saffoe said keepers’ efforts for Damai – the cub’s eight-year-old mother – to breed have paid off twice now. Their patience, interest, and discussions resulted in “is this amazing little cub”.
The zoo’s staff will not be opening public viewing of the cub for “several months” so as to allow it for bonding with its mother. The duo is being monitored via a camera.
The little, adorable cat was conceived in March and is her mother’s second litter, the zoo said. Its father is Sparky, a 13-year-old Sumatran tiger.
Scientists at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute work for the protection of tigers and other endangered animals. They also offer courses on tiger biology, animal laws, illegal trade and working independently in local areas.