Two Sumatran tiger cubs were born at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, DC, on Monday evening. Not only are these cubs the cutest new zoo babies around, but they are also a huge conservation success for the zoo, since Sumatran tigers are critically endangered – there are only 400-500 left in the wild.
Don’t run to the National Zoo just yet to see the lil’ cubs. The zoo is giving the first-time mother – 4-year-old Sumatran tiger Damai — time to bond and care for her little ones, so the cubs will most likely not be on exhibit until the fall.
In the meantime, you can watch the newborn tigers grow (they haven’t even opened their eyes yet) on the zoo’s live webcams. And their dad, 12-year-old Sumatran tiger Kavi is holding down the den as usual at the Great Cats exhibit.
“It’s taken more than 2 years of perseverance getting to know Damai and Kavi and letting them get to know each other so that we could reach this celebratory moment,” Great Cats curator Craig Saffoe said in a release.
“All I can do is smile because the team has realized our goal of producing critically endangered tiger cubs. Damai came to us as a young tiger herself, so it’s really special to see her become a great mom.”
In addition to these rare cubs, there are only 65 Sumatran tigers living in accredited zoos in North America.
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