January 27, 2011
Endangered Sumatran Tiger Gives Birth
A Sumatran tiger gave birth to three live cubs at an Indonesian zoo on Tuesday AFP reports. The births give a boost to the rare endangered species which number around 400 left in the wilderness of Indonesia.
The big cat gave birth to four cubs at Taman Rimba zoo in Jambi province Tuesday but one died immediately, according to provincial tourism and cultural agency head Didi Wuryanto.
"I'm overjoyed. This is a remarkable achievement," Wuryanto told AFP. He said the parents of the cubs, male and female tigers called Peter and Uni, had been transferred to Jambi on Sumatra island from Ragunan zoo in Jakarta.
"It's difficult to take care of tigers. Thanks to the effort of the people in the zoo, there is hope now that we can help in saving the tiger population," he said. Human-animal conflicts are a rising problem as people encroach on wildlife habitats in Indonesia, an archipelago with some of the world's largest remaining tropical forests.
Sumatran tigers are on the brink of extinction because of rapid deforestation, poaching and clashes with people. The World Wildlife Fund says their numbers have dwindled to about 400, down from about 1,000 in the 1970s.