The Sacramento Zoo announced Monday that a Sumatran tiger gave birth to a male cub in the early hours of March 3.
“The birth of any Sumatran tiger is a great contribution to this critically endangered species,” said Zoo Director Mary Healy.
The male cub weighed in at a heavy three pounds. Newborn cubs usually weigh about two pounds. Both mother and baby appear to be healthy, according to zoo officials.
Born with eyes closed, cubs rely entirely on their mother for the first three months of their lives.
During this time, zoo officials say the mother, Bahagia, and her cub will be kept away from public view as the baby develops. Both are expected to return to exhibit by late May or early June.
Castro, the father was reportedly diagnosed with lymphoma, a form of cancer, in early February. He and Bahagia now have five living offspring, one of which just fathered a cub at the nearby San Francisco Zoo.
The endangered tigers are only found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra off the Malaysian Peninsula. Fewer than 500 are believed to exist in the wild and about 200 live in zoos around the world.
Habitat destruction and poaching are the main reasons for the tigers' endangerment.
SSPs are cooperative breeding and conservation programs designed to maintain genetically viable populations of animals in captivity, and to organize zoo and aquarium-based efforts to preserve the species in nature.