By: Cody Barr
There are reportedly less than 400 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild. Their existence is shriveling to dangerously low numbers due to poaching and deforestation in their native habitats on the tropical Indonesian island. However, in the span of five days, two healthy cubs were born in Florida, finally giving conservationists something to smile about.
Zoo Miami is excited to announce the birth of a critically endangered Sumatran tiger! pic.twitter.com/WDidsJLrEE— Zoo Miami (@zoomiami) November 23, 2015
On Nov 23, Zoo Miami announced the birth of an adorable 3-pound male cub. The cub was born on Nov 14 and has yet to be named, according to the Miami Herald. The birth marks the first Sumatran Tiger birth at the zoo and the first offspring of Leeloo a four-year-old female that arrived in Miami in 2013 from the Oklahoma City Zoo. Berani, the cub's father, arrived the same year, from San Francisco Zoo.
Just up the coast of Florida at the Jacksonville Zoo, Leeloo's littermate gave birth to her very first cub just five days later. The cub, whose sex has yet to be revealed, is reportedly healthy, as is mother Dorcas. Interestingly, the cub's father is also named Berani. However, THIS Berani hails from Ohio and is 14 years old.
"This rare cub's birth is so exciting for the zoo and our community," said Dan Maloney, the Jacksonville Zoo's Deputy Director of Animal Care and Conservation in an interview with a local news channel. "We can't wait to see the youngster grow, develop and explore the special features we designed into our newest Land of the Tiger habitat, especially the unique trail system."
The proud tiger parents are reportedly all a part of the elaborate AZA Tiger Species Survival Plan® (SSP) Conservation Campaign, which aims to increase genetic diversity within zoos to ensure the success of the species.
Learn about other endangered species fighting for survival and be sure to watch Racing Extinction on Dec 2 at 9/8c on Animal Planet and Discovery Channel.