By Dian Hasan | December 30, 2009
Two Sumatran Tiger cubs born at, Dublin Zoo in May took centre stage again today after a nationwide competition found names for them. Keepers sifted through hundreds of entries before selecting “Emas”, meaning “Gold” in Indonesian for the male cub and “Wanita” meaning “Woman” for the female.
A critically endangered species, fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers survive in the wild so these animals are extremely important not just to the Zoo but to the global breeding program.
The cubs were born on May 29th and are thriving. At birth Emas weighed in at 1 kg and Wanita at .85 kg, and now almost 5 months on the pair are thriving weighing in at 22 kg and 17 kg respectively. Both cubs are still suckling from their mother but are also being introduced to solids including chicken, pork and rabbit.
The cubs formed a strong bond with both their father, Kepala, and mother, Sigra. Whilst, traditionally male Sumatran Tigers are solitary creatures, Kepala has taken an active role in the cub’s upbringing and unusually the family enjoy sleeping together at night time alongside each other.
Dublin Zoo plays a significant role in the international breeding programme which is designed to ensure the survival of tigers in their natural habitat. As well as contributing to this breeding programme visitors to Dublin Zoo have the opportunity to support these critically endangered species by purchasing a Tiger adoption pack at Dublin Zoo gift shop.