Tiger cubs enjoy celebrity status
By LISA SLOAN – Central Leader Wednesday, 02 July 2008
Auckland Zoo’s new additions are doing well and getting bigger every day.
The first pictures of three tiger cubs born nearly three weeks ago have been released.
Endangered sumatran tigers Molek and Oz welcomed the babies after an intensive breeding programme.
The cubs, which have yet to be named, will stay in the den with their mother Molek until they are six to eight weeks old.
They will then be taken to the zoo’s vet for a health check and vaccinations and introduced to the public for the first time.
Zoo spokeswoman Abi Smith says the tigers are thriving and growing faster than keepers expected.
There are still risks involved with the cubs so staff are taking the process slowly and taking their lead from Molek, she says.
There has been international interest in the birth, with letters and well wishes from animal lovers all over the world.
There are fewer than 400 sumatran tigers in the wild and only 160 in captivity.
A “cub cam” has been set up for visitors to the zoo’s website.
The zoo is planning a competition to name the cubs and hopes to have it up and running in the next week. Visit www.aucklandzoo.co.nz.