Sumatran tiger twins born at Oklahoma City Zoo

Eleven-year-old Lola gave birth to the first calf at 4:31 a.m. and the second at 4:49 a.m.

In a press release Wednesday, the zoo said Lola and her cubs are doing well and have reached critical milestones, including breastfeeding.

In a few weeks, a veterinary team will examine the cubs to weigh and measure them, according to the statement. They will also discover the sex of the cubs.

« Lola has proven to be an extremely caring and nurturing mother to these new additions to our family of animals, » said Tyler Boyd, the zoo’s curator of carnivores. He said that throughout her pregnancy she participated in ultrasound monitoring and training sessions and allowed caretakers to prepare for the arrival of the little ones.

A Sumatran tiger named Tila is pictured at the Bioparco in Rome on March 31, 2016.

Perhaps it’s no wonder: Lola is an experienced mother, having given birth to triplets on her birthday in 2017, according to the zoo. A few days later, she received a fourth newborn baby to take care of. Zoya, an Amur tigress, was born at the Philadelphia Zoo, but her mother lacked the maternal instincts to care for her. This was the first documented case of cross-breeding of tigers of a different subspecies among Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) zoos, according to the press release.

Lola and her three siblings were also born at the Oklahoma City Zoo, which participates in the AZA Species Survival Plan for Sumatran tigers. The group had recommended that Lola breed with Kami, a 14-year-old male.

A critically endangered Sumatran tiger walks in its enclosure at Ragunan Zoo in Jakarta on October 23, 2013.
The subspecies, named after the Indonesian island of Sumatra it inhabits, is on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. It is estimated that between 400 and 500 wild Sumatran tigers remain in the dense forests of Indonesia.
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Fauna & Flora International explains that poaching is a particular threat. These rare big cats are hunted for their skin, bones and canines, which are in high demand as status symbols, mainly in other countries, and for use in traditional East Asian medicine. , according to the group. Deer, an important food source for these tigers, are also poached. Tiger habitats are shrinking due to oil palm, coffee and acacia plantations.
Lola and her cubs will stay away from the public until the cubs are old enough to get vaccinated and navigate their outdoor habitat, the Oklahoma City Zoo said. The zoo invites the public to follow the cubs’ progress on social media.

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