Dublin Zoo welcomes three Sumatran tiger cubs


Sumatran cubs
The three cubs — Satu, Dua and Tiga with their mother Sigra viewed through a video link at Dublin Zoo.

Dublin Zoo today announced the birth of three female Sumatran tiger cubs, one of the world's most endangered species.

 The cubs were born 18 days ago and remain at a very delicate stage of their development.

They will not be introduced to the Zoo's visitors until the summer.  This is to allow privacy for the mother and cubs to bond. However, from today, the three cubs can be viewed via a special video link, whereby visitors will see the cubs on a TV screen located in the viewing area of the Sumatran tiger exhibit at the zoo.

The three cubs - 'Satu', 'Dua' and 'Tiga' are thriving. They weighed approximately 900 grams when born and at present, they are weighing in at a healthy 1.2 kilos.

The Director of Dublin Zoo, Mr Leo Oosterweghel said: "All of the team at Dublin Zoo are really delighted with the birth of our three tiger cubs.

"The Sumatran tiger is one of the world's most critically endangered species, due to habitat loss and poaching. Dublin Zoo is highly committed to the International Zoo Breeding Program for Sumatran Tigers, and the birth of three cubs really is welcome, considering there are less than 500 Sumatran tigers remaining in the wild," said Mr Oosterweghel.

The Sumatran tiger is the smallest of the four remaining tiger sub-species, with a dark orange coat and black stripes on its forelegs. It eats wild pig, deer, birds and fish.

Its natural habitat ranges from lowland to mountain forest in Sumatra, Indonesia. At present, Sumatra has only 35 per cent of its original forest cover remaining, due to the actions of timber and palm oil companies.

A Sumatran tiger can survive for up to fifteen years in the wild and twenty years in zoos.

Indah, the tiger cubs' father was born on April 29th 1990 in the Krefeld Zoo in Germany. He was transferred to Dublin Zoo on  November, 9th 2000. Sigra, the cubs' mother, was born on  June, 1st 2000 in Tiergarten Heidelberg in Germany, and has been on a breeding loan to Dublin Zoo since 18th August 2003.