Three endangered Sumatran tiger cubs were born last Wednesday at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.
Hidden cameras at the zoo have captured the birth of the tiger cubs that were born mother Jaya and father Malosi. The cubs were born Wednesday, Oct. 8, at 2.35a.m, 3.45a.m and 4.05 a.m. According to zoo's general curator Dr. Karen Goodrowe Beck, the cubs are healthy and nursing well. All the three newborn cubs are females and weigh less than 4 pounds each.
The mother and cubs remain under constant watch in order to ensure that the Jaya is caring well for her cubs. The new family is currently housed at the Asian Forest Sanctuary area of the zoo behind the scenes, where the staff can easily view and hear the cubs via video cameras.
The unnamed cubs will continue to remain in the den and it is not yet known when they will be allowed to be viewed by the public.
Jaya is not a new mom, prior to these cubs she had given birth to Kali on April 17, 2013. Kali is one of the few Sumatran tigers born in North American zoos in 2013. The number of Sumatran tigers in AZA, accredited North American zoos, ranges between 70 and 80. It is estimated that there are hardly 300 Sumatrans left in their native habitat in the Indonesian Island of Sumatra.
Sumatran tigers are the smallest surviving tiger subspecies. These species are critically endangered and face great threat from poaching, deforestation and habitat loss. They lead a solitary life and come together only to mate. The male tigers rarely grow up to 2.5 meters in length. A 1978 tiger census reported that there are 1000 Sumatran tigers in the wild, indicating over the last 25 years the population has been cut to half.