Tiger cubs make zoo debut
Video and slideshow of the cubs and their Mom at:
By John Johnston
July 1, 2009
The first litter of Malayan tiger cubs born at the Cincinnati Zoo in eight years is now on display at Tiger Canyon and in need of names.
Since their birth on March 21, the four males have been out of visitors’ view, bonding with their mother, Hutan. The cubs’ father, Jalil, was in the last litter of such cubs born at the zoo in 2001.
The zoo is holding a naming contest that runs through July 17, with winning names to be announced July 24. Names can be submitted at www.cincinnatizoo.org. Winners will receive a basic family zoo membership.
“We prefer to get names that will show the Malay heritage of these cats,” said Mike Dulaney, the zoo’s curator of mammals. He and cat house zookeepers will be contest judges.
Since 1990, when the first Malayan tigers arrived at Cincinnati, the zoo has produced 28 such cubs. The tigers have black stripes on orange and white fur. Full-grown males average about 260 pounds.
The Malayan tiger is endangered, and is one of six subspecies of tiger. In the wild, where it’s estimated that fewer than 1,000 Malayan tigers remain, they are found in the southern tip of Thailand and peninsular Malaysia.
Only 54 Malayan tigers live in North American zoos. Their breeding is managed by a Species Survival Plan, a program administered by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and designed to maintain a genetically and demographically healthy population.
Dulaney, SSP subspecies coordinator for Malayan tigers, says the animals typically are bred when they are 4 to 5 years old.
By this weekend, a live camera will be installed at Tiger Canyon so visitors can get a peek inside in case the cubs hide from view in their outdoor exhibit.