by Lauren Kraft, PR
As part of Holiday Magic on Saturday, December 8th, the Sacramento Zoo celebrated the 1st birthday of our three tiger cubs! Looking back, it has been extraordinary to watch them grow up.
On the morning of November 24, 2006 – the day after Thanksgiving and one of the busiest visitor days of the year – our carnivore keeper heard the tiny cries of a newborn cub in the tiger den. Although the keepers looked in on the mother, she was left undisturbed and allowed to give birth on her own, just as she would have done in the wild. The next morning our keepers confirmed the birth: three tiny cubs – all looking healthy and strong, and mom doing a great job providing for them. Sumatran tigers being one of the world’s critically endangered animals, we were ecstatic!
The trio of tiger cubs made their public debut in February of this year, and the response was… well, extraordinary. Thousands of people showed up that first weekend, to see the three tigers chasing their mom, their tails and anything else that moved.
From that day on, the tiger cubs have been a delight for families to watch as they grew bigger than their mom, while still playing rambunctiously like kittens.
Celebrating the first birthday of the tiger cubs brought out hundreds of visitors as they signed a large birthday card and watched the trio tear into their cardboard birthday cake. The visitors also got to see Santa and Mrs. Claus bring our Zoo animals’ one-of-a-kind holiday gifts, from wrapped boxes and decorated trees to treat-filled stockings and acacia wreaths. The orangutans received stockings filled with jam and fruit; the Black & white ruffed lemurs clamored through decorated gifts and ice to find their treats; and the bongos and addax seemed to enjoy ramming into their Christmas trees.