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The Beautiful Sumatran Tiger Cubs Born At London Zoo And Their Progress

Updated on September 18, 2014

Good Things Come In Threes Too!

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The 3 new arrivals at just a few hours old Mother's love: Melati cleaning the cubs Melati feeding her new babies
The 3 new arrivals at just a few hours old
The 3 new arrivals at just a few hours old | Source
Mother's love: Melati cleaning the cubs
Mother's love: Melati cleaning the cubs | Source
Melati feeding her new babies
Melati feeding her new babies | Source

Do You Think This Species Can Survive?

With Less Than 500 Individuals Left In The Wild - Is It Possible?

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Why Are These Cubs So Significant?

With potentially just 300 of these beautiful tigers left in the wild and less than 400 in the world, the births of these three babies is wonderful news and they will hopefully go on to play a major part in the worldwide breeding programme, which is carefully considered due to the lack of genetic diversity.

I was thrilled when I read that these cubs had arrived healthy and happy, born in London zoo within one hour of one another! The zoo keepers watched and monitored the birth closely but didn't have to disturb mum (who would have found interference extremely stressful due to her having a nervous disposition anyway), because of the presence of well hidden cameras in the den.

Malati, the five year old mother, had previously given birth to a cub in October 2013 but tragically the cub died at just two weeks old. Knowing this, I felt a little worried about the cubs' survival, but as the weeks passed their future just looked brighter and brighter!

Mondays Aren't Always Dull!

After a 106 day pregnancy, Sumatran tigress Melati (aged 5), gave birth to three gorgeous, healthy and wriggly cubs. The first arrived at 12.28am on Monday 3rd February 2014 and was followed by two more! The second was born at 12.59am and the last but not least at 1.18am. The births took less than one hour and no intervention from the staff at London zoo was needed, thanks to hidden cameras and monitoring devices that wouldn't disturb the new mum (who had her hands pretty full with triple trouble!)

After her labor Melati licked each of the cubs and fed them and has stayed with them 99% of the time - only rarely leaving them for food for herself. Clever mummy! Well done Melati - and to anyone else who has looked after multiple babies - one is hard enough!

Sumatran Tiger Information Table

Main Food In The Wild
Main Threats
Monkeys and orangutans
Indonesian mountain forests
Livestock and fish
The island of Sumatra
Wild pig, deer and tapir
Indonesian lowland forests
Loss of Prey

One Of The First Videos of Melati's Cubs

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Update! 27th March 2014

The now 7 week old babies ventured out into the world for the first time in time for Mother's Day to explore their £3.6million enclosure. Two of the cubs seemed pretty confident and excitable whereas the other hung back and needed a few more nudges and licks of encouragement from mum.

Eventually all three were scrambling about in the pen, playing with each other and exploring which meant exhausted mum could get a little bit of peace and quiet! A rare thing when you have triplets! Meanwhile, for dad Jae Jae life carries on in much the same way, and the relaxed 6 year old male catches a bit of sun.

The babies are not yet sexed, but here's hoping at least one of the babies is female! We'll find out in a few weeks when they receive a full health check and vaccination to keep them healthy.

First Steps

Sumatran Tiger Toys For Children

10 Weeks Old And Feisty!

The cubs weren't happy about their vet appointment...
The cubs weren't happy about their vet appointment...

The 10 Week Health Check

The news we have all been waiting for is in! On the 17th April, the cubs were given a full health check by a vet and nurse and were deemed perfectly healthy from ear to tail. They were micro-chipped, vaccinated and sexed which is the most exciting of all!

We have two baby boys and one little girl which is wonderful news! All of the cubs will play a vital role in the breeding and conservation of this critically endangered tiger species.

As you can see from the picture above, the cubs really weren't enthusiastic about being given the vet's stamp of approval, or being vaccinated, sexed and microchipped but obviously all of this is essential for their well-being - otherwise it wouldn't be done.

I Would Love To Know...

Where Do You Stand On Zoos?

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10 Quick Sumatran Tiger Facts

  1. The Sumatran Tiger is the single rarest subspecies of tiger in existence today
  2. It is the smallest of all tiger subspecies.
  3. The stripes on a Sumatran tiger are closer together than on other tigers.
  4. Tragically, Sumatran tigers are poached for their body parts which are used in medicine.
  5. Habitat loss means Sumatran tigers occasionally eat livestock of nearby villagers, which they are sometimes then executed for.
  6. Sumatran tigers are native only to Indonesia, where they live in mountain and lowland forests.
  7. A Sumatran tiger male typically weighs between 100-170kg
  8. The life span for these tigers is 10-15 years in the wild and 20 in captivity.
  9. This is one of the only existing species to live successfully in total isolation on the island of Sumatra.
  10. These male tigers measure around 2.4 meters on average from nose to tip of the tail.

More Updates Coming Soon!

As soon as I know more about the cute little cubs I will be updating this hub! Hope to see you again soon! Thank you for visiting.


The Natural Habitat For The Sumatran Tiger

A markerSumatra -
Sumatra, Indonesia
get directions

This is the only island where these tigers exist. Interestingly it is also the only island with tigers, elephants and orang-utans living there.

Comments Are Always Appreciated

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    • tazzytamar profile image

      Anna 3 years ago from chichester

      Thanks :) they are such amazing creatures and it's always nice when there is a bit of positive news!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 3 years ago from USA

      The babies are precious and the video was really something. When I visited this zoo years ago with my hubby we had a great time. Nice to see that they were able to house these amazing creatures. Good article and photos.

    • JKenny profile image

      James Kenny 3 years ago from Birmingham, England

      Excellent first article, and thank you for delivering such excellent news about the Sumatran tiger. I really, really hope they can hang on. Welcome to Hubpages :)