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

The tiger babies are doing well.

By: Carol Ross Joynt

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.