By Linda Goldston
Mercury NewsArticle Launched: 03/27/2008 05:52:08 PM PDT
The rare Sumatran tiger triplets at the San Francisco Zoo are growing quickly.
The 3-week-old cubs are still too young to appear in public, but the Mercury News got a glimpse during a recent checkup.
Their hearts, hearing and health all got high marks from the doctor. So did their appetites. Each of the male cubs had gained about a pound, as of their last weekend checkup, weighing in at 5.37, 5.84 and 5.88 pounds.
“They’re all eating well, they’re all vocal and they all have big bellies,” said Jacqueline Jencek, chief of veterinary services at the zoo. Mom “Leanne is doing a wonderful job.”
Leanne, a 5-year-old, 230-pound Sumatran tiger, is a first-time mom. She gave birth to the trio of male cubs on March 6. The father is George, a 10-year-old Sumatran tiger who will play no role in the cubs’ upbringing, just as it is in the wild.
Sumatran tigers are critically endangered, with only 400 to 500 remaining in the wild. Leanne and George are part of a species survival breeding program.
For now, the baby tigers are known as Cub 1, Cub 2 and Cub 3.
They’ll be up for “adoption” – which comes with naming rights – as part of an auction at the zoo’s annual Zoofest fundraiser on April 25. Individual tickets for the event are $500.
It will still be awhile before the public can see the cubs, but their daddy can be seen daily in his grotto at the zoo.
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