Malayan tigers born at Alexandria Zoo
Two male Malayan tigers (Panthera tigris jacksoni) were born on Sunday, November 16, 2014 at Alexandria Zoo. The two healthy baby boys were born to Jammu (male b. April 20, 1999) and Yatti (female b. April 28, 2008). Yatti is also doing well, but she was not taking care of the cubs, which prompted the decision to hand raise them.
After an approximately 104-day gestation period, an average of two to three cubs is born (the largest litter is six). Cubs are born blind, and weigh about 2 to 3 pounds. The cubs will begin to wean at about six weeks.
Once they are older and their personalities begin to develop, the Zoo will name the cubs.
Tiger Species Survival Plan
Alexandria Zoo participates in the Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP). This program works to maintain sustainable, genetically diverse tiger populations and supports research on tiger biology and care. The program also raises awareness about the plight of tigers and funding for their conservation.
With less than 500 Malayan tigers remaining in the wild, each Malayan tiger birth is a significant one. Approximately 60 Malayan tigers are housed at 27 North American institutions. The SSP's target population size is 150. Alexandria Zoo worked cooperatively with the SSP coordinator to make the decision to hand-raise the cubs.
The Tiger SSP coordinators will determine how long the cubs will stay at Alexandria Zoo and what institution(s) they will be moved to. The cubs could potentially stay at Alexandria Zoo for up to two years.
Tigers on the Brink
Malayan tigers are native to the tropical forests of peninsular Malaysia. Habitat loss and poaching of both the tigers and their prey are the greatest threats the species faces.
All tigers are extremely endangered and three subspecies have already become extinct.