The proud five year old mother Surami gave birth to two exquisitely rare cubs which have been caringly monitored by their keepers using cameras located in their birth box. When the cubs were three weeks old they underwent their first thorough check up. “At this time we definitively concluded that they are two healthy females weighing 3.16 and 3.40 kg,” said Pavel Brandl, mammal keeper in Prague’s ZOO. The cubs are suckling well and gaining approximately half a kilo per week.
They can been seen
The cubs live permanently with their mother Surami in a special birth hut located in the cat pavilion and with a bit of luck visitors can see them in the Sumatran tiger exhibition. “On the weekend, we saw one of the cubs in the indoor exhibition. It was either taken out by Surami or it was brave enough to leave the hut on its own. Both theories are possible,” explained P. Brandl. Cubs usually start leaving the birth box on regular basis at around three weeks.
This year’s addition is an even bigger achievement for Prague’s ZOO because it’s now the third generation of one line of Sumatran tigers born in Prague’s ZOO. In 1994, Dustin, the grandfather of the cubs was born in Prague, in 2007 their father Falco was born. In the wild, Sumatran tigers are a critically endangered species. Estimates of numbers in wildlife sanctuaries show there are just over 400 individuals left of this type of tiger which is the smallest breed out of five types of tiger, and they are not doing much better in human care either. There are only around 100 individuals in European ZOOs and last year only five Sumatran tigers were born in the whole of Europe.