The birth of two adorable Sumatran tiger cubs earlier this month is good news for the San Diego Zoo Safari Park’s Tull Family Tiger Trail habitat, but it’s great news for the worldwide Sumatran tiger population.
“We are elated about the birth of these tiger cubs,” Lisa Peterson, executive director at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, told TravelAwaits in a statement. “It has been years since we’ve had cubs at Tiger Trail, and we can’t wait to share them with the community.”
Sumatran tigers are listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species. Since there are only 400–600 Sumatran tigers on Earth, increasing their worldwide population is a vital step in their conservation, according to the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance.
“These births are so important to the conservation of this species,” Peterson said. “Our hope is these cubs will provide an opportunity for our guests to gain a greater appreciation for tigers and the important need to conserve them in their native habitats.”
The cubs, a female and a male, were born on July 12 to first-time mother Diana.
“Wildlife care specialists are closely monitoring Diana and her cubs, and they report that Diana is an extremely attentive and gentle mother,” the San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance explains. “The cubs appear strong, and they are nursing frequently.”
You can see Diana and her two cubs in this tiger den cam video from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
What Are Sumatran Tigers?
Sumatran tigers, a subspecies of tiger native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, live for about 20 years in captivity, according to National Geographic. They typically live 15 years in the wild.
The tigers, which can weigh about 250 pounds, can be up to 8 feet long.
Although Sumatran tigers can run up to 40 miles per hour, they prefer to stalk their prey and then pounce on it quickly. In the wild, that prey includes monkeys, wild boar, deer, and even fish, National Geographic explains.
The biggest threats to the Sumatran tiger population are continued habitat loss and poaching, according to the World Wildlife Fund. However, deforestation also leads to the loss of prey, which ultimately affects the tigers.
Diana And Her Cubs
Diana and her cubs are in an indoor den away from the public. This is an important time for them because it allows the cubs to bond with Diana and learn from her. When Diana is ready, she will eventually bring her cubs out of the den.
Wildlife care specialists estimate this will happen when the cubs are between 8 and 10 weeks old.