Double Joy: Four Tiny Tiger Cubs Welcomed at New Zealand Zoos

Two sets of Sumatran tiger cubs have been born at Auckland and Hamilton Zoos, marking an exciting start to the new year for staff and visitors alike.

In a rare occurrence, Auckland Zoo announced the birth of two Sumatran tiger cubs, a significant event as it’s only the second time in the zoo’s history.

Watch the video at the end.


The cubs, born to five-year-old mother Zayana on January 2, are receiving attentive care from their mother, who is highly protective of them.

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The cubs are currently blind and entirely reliant on their mother until they gain full sight at around two weeks old.

Nick Parashchak, senior keeper of the carnivore team at Auckland Zoo, highlighted the importance of Zayana’s grooming behavior in stimulating the cubs’ circulatory and digestive systems.

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Zayana gave birth within a sheltered den in the tiger habitat, allowing zoo staff to monitor her and the cubs from a safe distance.

Parashchak emphasized the critical nature of the first few weeks for both mother and cubs but expressed cautious optimism for their well-being.

This news follows a previous birth by Zayana in September, where, unfortunately, one cub died during childbirth, and the other was killed by the mother shortly after.


While tragic, Auckland Zoo carnivore team leader Laureen Booth noted that such incidents are not uncommon in the wild, as instincts can sometimes lead to the rejection of offspring for various reasons.

In addition to Auckland Zoo’s joyous announcement, Hamilton Zoo celebrated the birth of two Sumatran tiger cubs to mother Kirana and father Scout.

These cubs were born at Hamilton Zoo in 2014 and have been described as healthy and robust by carnivore team leader Shane Fox.


However, Fox advised that the cubs will need ample bonding and development time with their mother in the coming months before they’re ready to explore their surroundings.

Both zoos’ announcements are particularly significant given the critically endangered status of Sumatran tigers, with fewer than 400 individuals remaining in the wild.

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