MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two critically endangered Sumatran Tiger cubs were born at the Memphis Zoo this month, and the zoo debuted their first baby pictures Friday.
Dari, the zoo’s 8-year-old female tiger, gave birth to the two cubs May 5. Her mate Gusti is 6.
So far, Dari has proven to be a fantastic mother, calmly grooming and nursing the cubs, the zoo said in a news release.
“The Memphis Zoo has chosen the Sumatran tiger as a conservation focus in the coming years, and these two cubs will be crucial in helping to raise awareness of the plight of their wild counterparts,” said Courtney Janney, Chief Zoological Officer of Memphis Zoo.
These are the first tigers born at the Memphis Zoo in 25 years, the zoo said. The last were born in 1998 to Dari’s grandmother, and those were the first Sumatran tigers ever born at the zoo.
Sumatran tigers are one of the most critically endangered subspecies of tigers, the zoo said. There were once nine subspecies of tigers, but that number is down to six because of poaching and habitat loss.
“As the last of the island tigers, preserving Sumatran tigers is critically important.” said Dan Dembiec, West Zone Curator.
The cubs will be exhibited publicly when they about three months old, after they have had vaccinations.