SEATTLE — Lola, an endangered Sumatran tiger at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, is expecting.
And that’s big news.
The zoo announced Wednesday that staff detected two cubs during recent ultrasound procedures, confirming the 11-year-old tiger’s pregnancy. Since the tigers are critically endangered, with fewer than 300 remaining in the wild, this is big news.
“This pregnancy is a vital piece of worldwide Sumatran tiger conservation programs,” said Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium general curator Karen Goodrowe Beck.
The father of Jaya’s litter is Malosi, now 5, who arrived at the Point Defiance Zoo in early 2012 from Honolulu Zoo. He is considered one of the best matches with Jaya for genetics and temperament.
The gestation period for a Sumatran tiger is just over 100 days.
There are only 76 Sumatran tigers in AZA accredited North American zoos, and just four Sumatran tiger cubs in two litters have been born through SSP conservation efforts this year, Goodrowe Beck said.
This is the fourth pregnancy for 11-year-old Jaya, who came to Point Defiance Zoo in 2002. Three offspring from those previous pregnancies also live at the zoo. Bima is 4, Dumai will be 2 on Aug. 22 and Kali is 16 months old.