Kartika, Toronga Zoo, Sydney Australia

Kartika, the new mom (via)

 

The latest estimates of Sumatran tigers left in the wild are only four to five hundred, but the Taronga Zoo's Kartika has successfully brought three more into the world and you can see how nonchalantly she does it on video.

 

 

Kartika and her mate Clarence, who were introduced in October 2018, are now the parents of two girls and a boy, and the Taronga Zoo is going to be as supportive of their growth and good health as is humanly possible. The Zoo has been part of an active regional program to breed Sumatran tigers and has helped whelp 21 tigers since 1980.

Sumatran tigers, native to the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, are estimated to have appeared 12,000 to 6,000 years ago in the area now known as Indonesia. Their populations have dwindled with the advent of the islands' agricultural development and human poaching. In the wild, the tigers thrive in large packs, 50 to 100 in number, on humid marshlands, as far away from humans as possible. The Indonesian government has set aside parkland for the tigers to inhabit, but poachers are still active.

 

Sumatran tiger "Kartika" and her cubs

Sumatran Tiger Kartika and her three cubs (via)

 

Clarence was removed from Kartika's quarters after they mated, so there is no fear of aggression towards each other.

In captivity, the mating of the Sumatran tiger is a very uncertain prospect. The male and female must be carefully watched and if aggression sparks between the two, handlers are to distract and separate them. Recently, this was not possible at the London Zoo, when despite their efforts, zoologists could not interrupt the tigers's aggressive behavior, and the female died as a result of the male's attack.

Kartiva's endeavors were a success, however, and she will hopefully remain with her cubs at the Taronga Zoo for 18-24 months until they are mature.

 

Primary sources: Taronga Zoo, The Star

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