A critically endangered species of tiger has just seen a small increase in numbers, as the Malayan Tiger, Cinta, at the Jacksonville Zoo has given birth to three cubs as of Sunday, November 5.
"Introducing our newest Malayan tiger ambassadors!" the Instagram post from Jacksonville Zoo reads, in part. "Cinta has been very attentive to her babies, grooming and allowing the cubs to nurse, so we are giving them space while they get settled in and bond privately behind the scenes."
The post is accompanied by a short video clip of Cinta and her cubs.
Jacksonville Zoo staff say their Animal Care team continues to monitor the critically endangered cubs to ensure they're eating, sleeping, and cuddling as they should.
"Unfortunately, there are estimated to be fewer than 150 Malayan tigers left in the wild." writes the Jacksonville Zoo. "The pregnancy is a significant addition to the sustainability of the critically endangered species, and we are proud of our contribution to ensuring a viable and diverse Malayan tiger population."
The species is noted as one of the smallest subspecies in the Southeast Asian region; and according to the World Wildlife Foundation, in the 1950s, Malaysia was estimated to have as many as 3,000 tigers.
Habitat loss due to rapid development, arguculture expansion, and widespread hunting has been the cause of population decline to fewer than 150 individuals as of 2022. Their status as Critically Endangered makes them one of the most endangered tigers on our planet, together with the Indochinese and Sumatran tigers.
According to a comment from Jacksonville Zoo, it will be a little while before the cubs and mama are healthy and strong enough to settle back into their habitat for public viewing.
For updates on Cinta and her cubs and other wildlife that call the Jacksonville Zoo home, follow Jacksonville Zoo on Instagram here.
Article by Rachael Volpe