The Oklahoma City zoo is celebrating a crucial conservation moment.
Two baby Sumatran tigers were born at the zoo on July 2 to 11-year-old mother Lola.
Only 400 to 500 Sumatran tigers still live in the wild in the jungles of Indonesia, and they’re often targeted by poachers. Zoos across the world have taken up conservation efforts to protect the endangered species.
Lola herself has been a major asset to that program. She gave birth to triplets in 2017 and also nursed a fourth, Philadelphia zoo-born cub alongside that litter after the baby’s mother “did not have the maternal instincts to care for her,” the Oklahoma City zoo said.
The newest Sumatran tigers were welcomed at 4:31 p.m. and 4:49 p.m. on July 2, according to the Oklahoma City zoo. The cubs’ father, 14-year-old Kami, was also the father of the triplets in 2017. Zookeepers have not yet determined the gender of the baby tigers.
“Lola has proven to be an extremely attentive and nurturing mother to these new additions to our animal family,” said Tyler Boyd, OKC Zoo’s curator of carnivores. “So far, Lola is doing an excellent job and the cubs are spending plenty of time nursing and bonding with mom.”
The baby tigers can’t be seen at the zoo yet because they haven’t received vaccinations and need to learn about the outdoor habitat, the zoo said. Their progress will be shared on social media.