The Tierpark’s new tiger cubs may only be the size of a house cat, but they can already snarl like a full-grown tiger! They spent the early weeks of their life completely undisturbed in their birthing den with mother Mayang (11) and father Jae Jae (13), with the family occasionally venturing out for brief spells in the warm autumn sunshine. But at eight weeks, the cubs were due their first visit from the vet. The check-up involved examining their teeth and eyes, as well as administering their first vaccinations and inserting microchips – a kind of ID card for animals. The vet was also able to determine the sex of the two cubs: “We are delighted to announce that we have two female cubs,” says tiger curator Matthias Papies. “They represent an important ray of hope for the endangered Sumatran tiger.” The check-up was carried out by veterinarian Anja Hantschmann: “We had already observed from a distance that the little tigers seemed very lively, alert, and interested in their surroundings – and fortunately this impression was confirmed during their first check-up,” she reports. “They currently weigh in at a healthy 5.79 kilos and 5.99 kilos.” The check-up lasted only around 15 minutes, after which the tiger family was reunited.
The Sumatran tiger is critically endangered – in fact, it is one of the most threatened big cats on the planet. The international breeding programmes supported by modern zoos represent one of the last glimmers of hope for these majestic big cats. A Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) is in place for the Sumatran tiger, which brings together all regional conservation breeding programmes, such as the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), and coordinates them on a global scale. This creates even better chances of success for the survival of critically endangered species. 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 (11) hit it off right away.