Getting bigger
Wednesday 2nd May 2012

Our Sumatran Tiger cubs are now over eight months old and still pilling on the pounds. All three have hit the 40 kg mark, which puts female cub Kartika near the half way mark of her expected 90kg adult weight. However male cubs Sakti and Kembali could reach up to 120kg when they’re fully grown.

To keep the kilos coming, the cubs are fed two kilograms of food each day. Feeding time has to be managed carefully to prevent any squabbling. Our keepers have started some early cooperative training in which the cubs are taught that they have a set “station” in the exhibit for feeding. They now all know where their stations are, but at the moment the cubs aren’t fed at the same time. With some more training they will be fed together without any confusion or tiffs at meal time.

Each tiger is developing a taste for a particular food and Kembali has revealed a rather interesting style of consuming his! Typically he will dip his afternoon food in the water troughs and take a dip too.

Tigers like water and this is apparent in our cubs even at this young age, as the exhibit pond often has bits of their food or enrichment items floating in it each morning, waiting for their dedicated (and very lucky!) keepers to clean up the mess!

Following the cubs’ journey to maturity it’s amazing to think that their births represent nearly one percent of the Sumatran Tiger population.

The Sumatran Tiger is the smallest of the surviving sub-species of tiger and are classified as Critically Endangered, with numbers as low as 400. 

Our breeding program here at the Zoo that is part of a world-wide safety net against the loss of Sumatran Tigers in the wild. When Kartika, Sakti and Kembali become adults they will have a vital role to play in the conservation of this stunning creature.

See the incredible story on the arrival of our cubs on "Wild Life at the Zoo", ABC 1. Click on the box below for more info.

Episode 3

See the very moment a tiger cub takes its first breath. With only around 400 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild, Taronga Zoo recently increased this population by 1% and cameras were there when some very precious cubs entered the world, and zoo keepers finally saw the results of their incredible dedication and years of planning.

 

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