Medan Zoo welcomes four Bengal tiger cubs

Medan Zoo welcomes four Bengal tiger cubs
New kids on the block: Three Bengal tiger cubs (fourth one not pictured) rest in their cage at Medan Zoo in North Sumatra. The four cubs, born on Nov. 7, have increased the number of tigers at the zoo to 20.

he Medan Zoo reported on Monday that four Bengal tiger cubs were born healthily at the zoo, adding to its tiger collection.

The four tiger cubs, which have yet to be named, were delivered by a 9-year-old female tiger named Wesa and 8-year-old male tiger named Avatar.

The pair of Bengal tigers was presented by the Ragunan Zoo in Jakarta on May 31 this year.

Veterinarian Sucitrawan, a tiger keeper at the Medan Zoo, said the four Bengal tiger cubs were born on Nov 7.

She added that the zoo management only publicized the news on Monday when they had already aged 3 weeks so as to avoid undesirable things, such as illness.

Sucitrawan said the condition of the four tiger cubs was currently sound. They were born naturally.

"We are continuously monitoring their condition. So far, their condition is very good," Sucitrawan told reporters at the Medan Zoo.

He said the birth of the four tiger cubs had increased the zoo tiger collection to 20 animals.

"Currently, the Medan Zoo has a collection of 20 tigers," he said, adding that 14 of them are Sumatran tigers and six Bengal tigers.

Medan Zoo manager Zainul Akbar Nasution said Sumatran tiger cubs were also born at the zoo this year besides the Bengal tiger cubs, as well as other animals, including a honey bear and a horse.

"Four Sumatran tigers, a honey bear and a horse were born at the zoo this year," Zainul told The Jakarta Post on Monday.

He said the births of the animals had added to the animal collection of the Medan Zoo which had reached a total of 177 animals from 53 species.

He claimed that among the animals at the zoo the number of Sumatran tigers was in surplus.

Zainul did not deny that the recent additions to the animal collection had increased the number of visitors to the zoo.

"We recorded a rise in the number of visitors, there is an increase of 20 to 25 per cent annually," said Zainul, adding that between 20,000 and 25,000 people visit the zoo each month.

In 2012, a 9-year-old Bengal tiger gave birth to four cubs in Mangkang Zoo in Semarang, Central Java.

Bengal tigers originally come from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), there are about 2,100 Bengal tigers in the wild: 1,411 in India, 200 in Bangladesh, 150 in Nepal and 100 in Bhutan.

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