3 Sumatran Tiger Cubs Born at Sydney Taronga Zoo

Taronga’s tale of tigress and her triplets

October 25, 2011

Triplet Sumatran tigers at Taronga

With only 300 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, the two month-old triplet cubs are a special addition to Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.

The baby big cats have finally been let out of the bag.

Three Sumatran tiger cubs earned their stripes today when they made their long-awaited public debut at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo.

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Sumantran tiger cubs, among three born at Taronga Zoo in August, come out to play.Sumantran tiger cubs, among three born at Taronga Zoo in August, come out to play. Photo: Edwina Pickles

“I’m just so excited that finally people get to see the cubs,” zoo keeper Justine Powell told reporters.

“It’s been a big ask to have to keep it a secret for the past eight weeks.”

The cubs – known at the moment as numbers One, Two and Three – came out to play with their mother Jumilah, who was also bred at the zoo in 2003 as part of a program to boost dwindling numbers of the critically endangered species.

A Sumatran tiger cub looks through the glass of the tiger display at Taronga Zoo.Click for more photos

Cats out of the bag

A Sumatran tiger cub looks through the glass of the tiger display at Taronga Zoo.Photo: Getty Images

  • A Sumatran tiger cub looks through the glass of the tiger display at Taronga Zoo.
  • A Sumatran tiger cub pulls a face at Taronga Zoo.
  • A newly born Sumatran tiger cub bites the glass of the tiger display at Taronga Zoo.
  • A Sumantran tiger cub, one of three born at Taronga Zoo in August, meets the public
  • A Sumatran tiger cub stalks another cub in play  at Taronga Zoo.
  • Sumatran tiger Jumilah plays with one of her cubs  at Taronga Zoo.
  • Sumatran tiger Jumilah plays with one of her cubs  at Taronga Zoo.
  • Sumatran tiger Jumilah with her cubs  at Taronga Zoo.
  • Sumatran tiger Jumilah cleans one of her cubs  at Taronga Zoo.
  • A Sumatran tiger cub keeps its head down at Taronga Zoo.
  • Sumatran tiger Jumilah plays with one of her cubs  at Taronga Zoo.
  • Sumatran tiger Jumilah  with one of her cubs  at Taronga Zoo.
  • Sumatran tiger Jumilah is  at Taronga Zoo.
  • Sumatran tiger Jumilah at Taronga Zoo with one of her cubs that were  born in August.
  • A Sumantran tiger cub, one of three born at Taronga Zoo in August, goes for a run.
  • A Sumantran tiger cub, one of three born at Taronga Zoo in August, meets the public.
  • A Sumantran tiger cub, one of three born at Taronga Zoo in August, meets the public.
  • A Sumantran tiger cub, one of three born at Taronga Zoo in August, meets the public.
  • Sumatran tiger Jumilah at Taronga Zoo with her cubs that were  born in August.
  • Sumatran tiger Jumilah at Taronga Zoo with one of her cubs that were  born in August.
  • A Sumantran tiger cub, one of three born at Taronga Zoo in August, meets the public.
  • Sumatran tiger Jumilah at Taronga Zoo with one of her cubs that were  born in August.
  • Sumatran tiger Jumilah at Taronga Zoo with  one of her cubs that were  born in August.
  • Sumatran tiger Jumilah at Taronga Zoo with one of her cubs that were  born in August.
  • Sumantran tiger cubs, among three born at Taronga Zoo in August, come out to play.

Ms Powell said they already had distinct personalities.

“Number One has been nicknamed SJ, Satu Junior, because he is a lot like his dad.

“Number Two is the girl, she’s very cheeky and confident and likes to hassle her brothers.

“Number Three is more laid back and I think he will be more placid than the other two.”

Ms Powell, who was also at Taronga for Jumilah’s birth, said her role so far had mainly involved monitoring the cubs with a camera.

“We just make sure everything is going smoothly and that she’s being a good mum, which she is. She’s just been awesome.”

The cubs’ dad Satu also gets to see the cubs but when it comes to raising the cubs, he has to be kept away.

Ms Powell said setting the tiger couple up was a less romantic version of an “online dating system”.

Computers match the animals according to genetics as part of an international breeding program.

They number just 400 in the wild and continue to be poached for traditional medicines and pelts while illegal palm plantations are robbing them of their habitat.

Ms Powell urged consumers to avoid buying unsustainable palm oil products.

Zoos across Australia are campaigning for Food Standards Australia to force companies selling products containing palm oil to clearly state so on the label.

The zoo will launch a naming competition in the next few days.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/tarongas-tale-of–tigress-and-her-triplets-20111025-1mh9f.html#ixzz1cP3go1as

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