A stripey bundle of joy: New tiger cubs at Tierpark Berlin

Twins born to the Sumatran tigers | Only around 500 left in the wild

Sumatran tigers are critically endangered. Only 400 to 600 of the big cats are estimated to still be living in their natural habitat in the Indonesian rainforest. Now there is a new ray of hope for the preservation of this rare species: the Tierpark’s female Mayang (13) and male Jae Jae (15) have become parents for the second time. The cubs were born on 25 February – the first at 7:59 p.m. and the second at 9:57 p.m.

Zoo and Tierpark Director Dr Andreas Knieriem emphasises the importance of this birth for the critically endangered Sumatran tiger: “Zoos are key to the survival of this and other threatened species. Conservation breeding in human care is an important component of the work being done by international networks to protect the last remaining tigers. It is important that tiger families are given space and time to themselves following a birth. We have full confidence in Mayang, who has already shown what a great mother she is.”

Jae Jae (13) came to Tierpark Berlin in January 2022 from French zoo Parc des Félins. He had already sired several healthy offspring in the past, and he and Mayang hit it off right away. That same year, female twins Luise and Lotte were born, who have since moved to a new home at Zoo Berlin. Just like with the birth two years ago, it is now important that the new family is not disturbed. “So far, everything is going very well, reports curator Matthias Papies. “Mother and cubs are spending time together in the den and seem happy and healthy. Like in 2022, Jae Jae has been attending them from the beginning, and both parents have access to the entire indoor enclosure and the private areas in the back.”

Since the Tierpark team generally avoid the area around the birthing den, they did not discover the newborn cubs on the monitor until the following morning. Over the coming weeks, the den will be left entirely to the tigers so that they have plenty of peace and quiet. The parents can move freely between different parts of their habitat. During the early days, the keepers will keep their distance, and the tigers will not be on view to visitors at the Alfred Brehm building.

Background, Sumatran tiger:

The Sumatran tiger is the tiger sub-species with the most southerly range; it is found exclusively on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Its natural habitat includes dense rainforest and marshland. Poaching, primarily for use of the tiger’s body parts in traditional medicine, has decimated the population. Another serious threat facing Sumatran tigers is the ongoing destruction of their natural habitat through deforestation, which also increasingly brings them into conflict with the human population.

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