Consider this birth announcement a win for the world! Both the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and the Oklahoma City Zoo welcomed Sumatran tiger cubs this week.
The Sumatran tiger is a critically endangered species, with less than 500 left in the wild, so these new arrivals are especially important, and also, especially cute.
On Wednesday, the National Zoo announced that its 8-year-old tiger Damai had given birth to a cub the day before. Keepers watched the miraculous moment on a closed-circuit camera set up in Damai’s den, and they continue to watch how the mom and her new baby bond. According to the zoo, the cub and mom appear to be healthy and quite cuddly together. The baby is nursing regularly and moving normally for its age. To allow Damai and her newborn to bond, caretakers are keeping their distance, which means they have not had the opportunity to check the cub’s sex.
“This is such an exciting time for us, not only because we have a cub who appears to be doing great, but also because this animal’s genes are extremely valuable to the North American population,” said Craig Saffoe, curator of the Great Cats habitat.
Not to be outdone, Lola the Sumatran tiger at the OKC zoo gave birth to tiger triplets on July 8, the same day she was born at the zoo in 2011. Like Damai and her baby, Lola and her brood are enjoying private time together to bond before keepers step in to check the sex and health of the cubs.
Both zoos said that their furry new arrivals won’t be on public display for some time. All of the cubs need time to grow, acclimate and receive health exams.