OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma City zoo is roaring into summer with a litter of rare Sumatran tigers.
A 6-year-old Sumatran tiger, Lola, has given birth to three cubs on Saturday – her birthday.
The zoo said the mother and her cubs appear to be doing well and are bonding.
The birth of the cubs marks the second historic litter of Sumatran tigers born at the zoo – on the exact same day as the first in 2011, which included Lola.
“We’re incredibly excited with this news and are ensuring Lola and her cubs have the time and space they need for nursing and bonding,” said Dr. Jennifer D’Agostino, senior director of veterinary care. “We won’t be able to examine the cubs or determine their sex for several more days and but look forward to sharing photos with the public once we have them.”
Lola and her cubs will likely stay out of public view for several more weeks until they are big enough for their habitat in Cat Forest.
The zoo said Sumatran tigers are critically endangered with less than 500 estimated to be living in the wild in the forests of Indonesia. Their survival is threatened by habitat loss driven primarily by the cultivation of palm oil plantations and by illegal hunting.
“The birth of these cubs is exciting for animal lovers in Oklahoma and incredibly important to conservation experts around the world,” said Dwight Lawson, executive director / CEO of the Oklahoma City Zoo. “By working in partnership with other Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accredited zoos and their curated Species Survival Plan (SSP), we are working hard to conserve Sumatran tigers and prevent their extinction.”