A Sumatran tiger cub came into the world at the San Francisco Zoo in its secluded Lion House, joining the limited population of this rare animal. According to Reuters via Yahoo! on Feb. 15, only about 400 seriously endangered members of this important part of the wild cat kingdom remain so this birth is a cherished addition to the subspecies.
The newborn cub's sex has not been determined and the baby has not yet been named but he or she is said to be doing well while hanging with the mother, a nine-year-old called Leanne. The two are able to bond in peace and without outside interference since zookeepers are monitoring these tigers by way of a special webcam. This has been happening ever since the cub was born last weekend, says Reuters.
Tiger specialist Dr. Tara Harris weighed in about this special birth, saying that this type of tiger reproduction is "definitely rare." Harris, who works for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, points about that only "about 75 Sumatran tigers are in captivity in North America."
That said, the story behind the gorilla birth is nothing short of amazing. The dad, called Bom Bom, died last summer at the age of 36. However, before that tragedy, he apparently had time to inseminate Kelele, who lives in the same enclosure where Bom Bom once roamed.
Zookeepers discovered that Kelele was with child in July after a series of pregnancy tests and she carried her baby for nine months. Now both big gorilla and little gorilla are said to be doing fine in the Oklahoma City Zoo, the same facility where George the gorilla was born nine years ago.
So, now George has a sibling thanks to Kelele, and the Oklahoma City Zoo has a new gorilla who lives in their Great EscApe exhibit, a part of the zoo that is closed to the public so this newborn's mom can bond with her baby much like the new rare tiger cub is doing in the San Francisco Zoo with that cat's mother.