Baby News at the Zoo: 2 New Tiger Cubs; Panda Pregnancy a Big Maybe

The tiger babies are doing well.
Damai with her two new cubs. Photograph via the National Zoo’s Flickr page.
Damai with her two new cubs. Photograph via the National Zoo’s Flickr page.

The National Zoo on Thursday made public the happy news that two Sumatran tiger cubs
were born on Monday, and that the mother, Damai, and her babies “appear healthy.”
The zoo says Damai has been observed grooming and nursing the newborns. Tiger fans
can watch on the zoo’s live webcam.

Earlier in the week, the zoo issued an update on female giant panda Mei Xiang, who
has displayed some “behavioral changes” that could signal a possible pregnancy, including
the fact that she is “less interested in food” and more interested in her nest, where
they said she chooses to spend “most of her time inside sleeping.” Stay tuned on that
one.

As for tiger and her pregnancy, the zoo stated, “Keepers and veterinarians began monitoring
Damai closely in June after she began gaining weight and exhibiting behaviors that
indicated she could be pregnant.” It is her first litter of cubs. The father is Kavi,
a 12-year-old tiger. The new arrivals will not be on exhibit for several months, while
they get acclimated and receive vaccinations.

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