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Image: Hamilton Zoo’s two newest tigers, born 3 January 2024.

Hamilton Zoo is thrilled to provide an update on the development of its two tiger cubs, born earlier this year. The cubs have been keeping their mother, Kirana busy as they begin to learn important life skills and express unique personalities.

The cubs had their first health check at 2 weeks of age, revealing they are both female.

Richard Sim, Head Veterinarian, and Mark Turner, Curator of Exotics, during the cubs first health check.

Image: Richard Sim, Head Veterinarian, and Mark Turner, Curator of Exotics, during the cubs first health check.

"This is a fantastic outcome for us," said Baird Fleming, Te Kaaroro Nature Precinct Director.

"Two female cubs are a great addition to the future breeding of this critically endangered species. Continuing their lineage and playing an important part in assuring genetic diversity in captive Sumatran Tigers within Australasia." 

At two weeks old, the cubs weighed in at 3.028kg and 2.861kg. Richard Sim, Head Veterinarian at Hamilton Zoo, reports that both cubs are healthy and doing well. The larger cub has a feisty personality and likes to vocalise, while the smaller one is quieter and more observant. 

Hamilton Zoo ran a social media competition to guess the cubs' gender, with those guessing correctly going in the draw to win a private Animal Encounter with Scout, the cubs’ dad. A gender reveal was hosted on Friday 26 January, at the Sumatran Tiger exhibit. Scout revealed the genders via enrichment, with crowds gathering to watch and be among the first to find out. 

Now that the genders have been determined, attention turns to naming the duo. "Names have not been decided”, said Fleming. "There is still some talk about what approach we will take to name the cubs. We hope to have some public involvement; we don't yet know what that looks like."

Mum, Kirana, has access to the enclosure and can often be seen on display.

Image: Mum, Kirana, has access to the enclosure and can often be seen on display.

Kirana and the cubs currently have access to both their enclosure and an off-display den. When they are ready, Kirana and the cubs will venture out for people to see. 

In the meantime, the Zoo has installed a monitor in the viewing area to regularly update visitors with footage from the den. 

Hamilton Zoo will continue providing updates on the progress of the tiger cubs through their social media pages. 

Hamilton Zoo at Te Kaaroro Nature Precinct is open 9:30am - 4:30pm daily. Closed 25 December.

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