Growing Up Quickly
On March 6th Skylar (A.K.A. Leanne) gave birth to 3 male Sumatran Tiger Cubs at the San Francisco Zoo. The father of the cubs is Bali (A.K.A. George).
The public was told that we would not see the cubs for at least 3 or 4 months most likely but Skylar started bringing her cubs out one at a time when she would go out into the enclosure at 6 weeks old. I was one of the lucky ones to see the cubs when she brought them out since I would wait at the enclosure for several hours just to get a glimpse of them. Normally she would only bring the cubs out for only a few minutes up to an hour and then would go back inside.
Here are a few shots of the cubs when Skylar was bringing them out one at a time (Sorry these 3 shots are not on Dreamstime):
During the first visits of seeing the cubs and Skylar only bringing one out at a time they still were tiny and had the blue eyes.
At about 2 or 2 1/2 months old the cubs were finally big enough to climb out of their nesting box on their own making it harder for Skylar to get them back into the nesting box. The cubs loved to hide in little cracks between rocks and branches knowing momma could not get to them. They still had partial blue eyes at this time but the eyes of the cubs started turning to the orange eyes you see on tigers. Early on they loved to play with enrichment toys that the keepers would bring to them and they love to play this game of one brother attacking the brother with the toy to distract him while the third brother will swoop in and steal the toy.
The boys are almost 5 months old and I get a kick out of watching them every time I go to the zoo. I practically stay at their enclosure all day when I visit and I am always amazed at how big they are getting. My last visit with them was 2 weeks ago and I was told the cubs are already over 50 lbs. The cubs are getting to the point that they are getting too big for their enclosure they are in now and some time in the month of August they will start to introduce them to a lot bigger enclosure. It will be very exciting to see them in the new enclosure cause they and mom will have a lot more area to run around in and hide.
Time has been flying by so quickly when it comes to watching them grow up and it will be a sad day when I have to say Goodbye to them. The zoo has agreed to transfer the cubs to the Sedgwick County Zoo in Kansas at the end of this year or the beginning of next year because Sedgwick County Zoo is building a brand new enclosure for them so they can grow up together. At least I have a few more months to watch them grow even bigger.
You can find my Tiger Cub set of pictures here on Flickr showing the cubs when I started taking pictures of them up until recently.
Photo credits: , Susan Pettitt.