Cincinnati Zoo Tiger Cubs Ready For Debut

Avatar BCR | June 24, 2009 8 Views 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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Cincinnati Zoo Tiger Cubs Ready For Debut

Last Update: 11:29 am

Four Malayan tiger cubs born at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden on March 21 will make their public debut soon. All of the cubs born to mother Hutan and father Jalil have been growing quickly while bonding with mom behind-the-scenes.

Cincinnati Zoo veterinarians and animal care staff conducted the cubs’ first neonatal exam on May 21, and all four cubs received a clean bill of health. Each was implanted with a microchip to identify them permanently, and each was sexed and weighed, and received its first sets of vaccinations. The cubs — all male — weighed in at 10.8, 10.9, 13.3 and 13.7 pounds.

On June 11, zoo vets administered a second set of vaccinations, and the cubs will receive one more set this month before they are up to date.

“These neonatal exams are important so that these cubs start life healthy and happy,” sad Dr. Mark Campbell, Director of Animal Health at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. “We want to ensure that the cubs are growing as expected, have no congenital problems and are healthy. The cubs are just beginning to eat meat and will continue to nurse until they are approximately six months old.”

As the cubs grow, they learn to play more and more. In early July, they will be on display for the public with their mother. The cubs are very playful and are honing their tiger skills as they grow up quickly. The cubs have not yet been named; the public will be asked to vote on names in July.

The Cincinnati Zoo has had Malayan tigers since 1990, and 28 cubs have been born at the zoo since then, with the most recent tiger birth in 2001. The cubs are the first for both parents. The father, Jalil, is an eight-year-old tiger and was born at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2001, but moved to the Alexandria Zoo when he was six months old. Jalil returned to Cincinnati in November 2007. Hutan, the mother, is six years old and came from the Fort Worth Zoo.

Malayan tigers are one of six living subspecies of tiger, wearing the characteristic striping pattern of black stripes on orange and white. The Malayan tiger is currently considered endangered, with 54 living in North American AZA-accredited zoos. There are fewer than 1,000 Malayan tigers estimated to be remaining in the wild.

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