Sumatran tigers are a very rare species of tiger, currently considered to be critically endangered, and the World Wildlife Fund estimates that only around 400 of the animals exist in the wild today. Other estimates believe the number is as low as 300. This is a number down from 1,000 almost 40 years ago.
With that being said, there are a few of these animals in captivity in zoos where zookeepers do their best to breed the animals. Of course, it’s still not a very common thing to occur.
On the other hand, the ZSL London Zoo had the fortunate opportunity to play host to the birth of two additional Sumatran tigers into our world. It’s not much, but it adds to the population we know today.
Image Credit: ZSL London Zoo/Cubcam
They were born on June 27th, one at 9:19 PM and the other at 10:02 PM, after a 108-day pregnancy, as reported by the zoo, and the female mother was a seven-year-old tigress.
The baby tigers are being watched closely on what the zoo is calling ‘cubcam,’ which is essentially a camera system that has been hooked up inside of the Sumatran tiger’s dwelling.
“We’re overjoyed with our new arrivals, and with how Melati is responding to her two cubs,” said assistant curator of mammals Teague Stubbington. “The cubcam allows us to observe the youngsters 24/7 while not disturbing mum or dad at all, which is ideal while they get to know their babies.”
In addition to the team taking turns watching the babies to ensure everything is going alright with them, the father of the cubs has also reportedly been checking in to see what’s going on.
“One of us is always on duty to keep an eye on the little ones throughout the night. Dad Jae Jae has also been spotted taking a peek at his new-borns!”
It’s a big event for the Sumatran tiger species. The cubs haven’t yet started to open their eyes, but soon they will be walking amongst their mom and dad in the zoo’s captivity, where they’ll be safe from poaching and other dangers that threaten their existence in the wild.
Also to add to the importance of this double-birth, one Sumatran tiger reportedly passed away at the infamous Surabaya Zoo, A.K.A. 'Death Zoo,' just two months ago, so by adding two more to the population, the population comes out on top.
ZSL supports fully the protection of the species in the wild where they roam.
A video of the mother and her cubs has been released on the ZSL London Zoo YouTube channel and can be watched below: