Zookeepers reported on Feb. 14 that a Sumatran tiger gave birth to a healthy cub. “All signs seem to be positive so far,” said Corinne MacDonald, the zoo’s curator of carnivores and primates. “Mom and cub are bonding,” she said, adding the cub appeared to be active and had a healthy appetite.
This new cub is the first tiger born at the San Francisco Zoo since 2008, when Leanne delivered three male cubs that have since been transferred to zoos across the United States. The cub was reportedly fathered by a 6-year-old tiger named Larry, who was temporarily transferred from the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans for breeding. Zoo staff will not know the gender of the newborn until its first examination at least two weeks from now.
“These births are definitely rare,”said Dr. Tara Harris, a tiger specialist with the North American accrediting group Association of Zoos and Aquariums. According to Dr. Harris, about 75 Sumatran tigers are in captivity in North America and they give birth to two to four litters a year.
The cub will remain at the zoo for a year and a half before zookeepers decide whether to transfer it.
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