National Zoo celebrates Sumatran tiger cubs’ birthdays

June 16, 2007 – 3:11pm

WASHINGTON – The three Sumatran tiger cubs at the National Zoo celebrated their first birthday this weekend.

The three cubs, Guntur, Melati, and Mahrami, received a special frozen treat made out of cow’s blood and water. The three cubs also received oxtail bones as special birthday presents.

There are fewer than 500 Sumatran tigers remaining in the wild and approximately 200 live in zoos.

These cubs are part of the Sumatran Tiger Survival Plan, a cooperative breeding project among North American Zoos.

The three cubs were born on May 24, 2006, and only weighed about 3 pounds each, and were described as helpless. Their eyes were closed, and could not even crawl or walk on their own.

The tiger cubs were initially so frightened by any strange noise or object that they would run and hide behind their mother, Soyono.

How things have changed for these cubs in just one year. They now eat more than 5 pounds of meat a day and weigh over 100 pounds.

The tigers have lost their baby teeth and now have full-sized gangs and other teeth, and love being outside and greeting new visitors.

You can see the tiger cubs at the National Zoo in the great cats exhibit or by checking out their tiger cam.

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