Congrats! It’s three Malayan tiger cubs

Hello, world: One of the cubs opening its eyes to its surroundings at the zoo. — Photo courtesy of Taiping Zoo and Night Safari

TAIPING: The Taiping Zoo and Night Safari has welcomed three Malayan tiger (Panthera tigris jacksoni) cubs.

Zoo director Dr Kevin Lazarus said the three cubs, born on April 12, and their 11-year-old mother were all doing fine and in stable condition.

“The cubs are estimated to weigh between 700g and 900g but we have yet to determine their sex.

“The cubs, which have yet to be named, will remain with their mother, whom zookeepers call Baby, for 18 months, ” he said in a statement.

“They will be weaned off their mother’s milk when they are between three and four months.

“We will continue to monitor them regularly to ensure their well-being and safety.”

Dr Lazarus said it was the fourth birth of Malayan tigers at the zoo since 2009.

Proud mum: Baby with her litter. — Photo courtesy of Taiping Zoo and Night SafariProud mum: Baby with her litter. — Photo courtesy of Taiping Zoo and Night Safari

“Baby was also born in this zoo 11 years ago, ” he said, adding that Baby mated in early January.

“We now have eight tigers in total, ” he added.

Dr Lazarus said the Malayan tiger, categorised as critically endangered by the Union for Conservation of Nature, could live up to 20 years.

“Based on the early findings in the 2016-2020 National Tiger Survey, its population is extremely worrying with only about 200 left in the wild.

“The dwindling numbers are due to loss of habitat, poaching and pollution, ” he said.

He hoped the target to increase the population of the Malayan tigers to 500 over the next five years would become a reality.

“The zoo will continue its efforts to breed, preserve and educate about the wildlife in the country, ” he added.

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