Rare Tiger Cubs on view at Prague Zoo


20. 11. 2017

Two cubs of the critically endangered Malayan tiger, which were born six weeks ago at Prague Zoo, were presented to the media for the first time on October 14 and are now on view for visitors.

Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo Photo: Petr Hamerník, Prague Zoo

The Malayan tiger cubs - male and female - were born in Prague Zoo on October 3, 2017. From the outset, the female was smaller and also had health problems. Fortunately, she was given antibiotics over the following few days and they have since receded.  

“Soon after birth, Banya carried her cubs from the birth box to the exhibition space and reacted tensely to the presence of people. Therefore we closed the pavilion and it is only now that visitors can see the tiger cubs,” explained Miroslav Bobek, the director of Prague Zoo, adding, “It is very difficult to breed this tiger subspecies, the last time it happened in Europe was four years ago in Halle Zoo. There are only two to four hundred Malayan tigers still alive in the wild.”

Both cubs were also reweighed. The male is larger, weighing 5.16 kg, whilst the female weighs 3.78 kg. “The growth curve of both cubs corresponds to data from abroad. The male’s an almost perfect copy, whereas the female is still smaller and has yet to make up the loss,” said Pavel Brandl, the curator for mammals.

Both tigers can now see and are cheerfully toddling around their exhibition space. Banya, the eleven-year-old mother of the tiger cubs is exemplary in her care of them and regularly suckles them. Despite this, the tigers are beginning to show signs of being the predators they are. They are already attracted to meat. So far, they have no teeth, but they are at least linking it.

The public has been closely following the fate of the youngsters since they were born,  and now that the Feline and Reptile Pavilion has reopened, visitors will be able to see them and their mother in the exposition. The cubs’ names are chosen by the keepers.