The San Diego Zoo hosts a set of 2-week-old male Malayan tigers who just opened their little eyes this past weekend. The endangered baby cubs are being nursed by their 12-year-old mother, Mek Degong inside their cozy den.
Even though their eyes are open, they can only see shadows and their grand debut will come when they reach 3 months old. Right now they sleep most of the day and nurse when they awake, scooting around their area and making soft noises. Their legs are still strengthening and they weigh in at about 7.7 pounds.
The mother, Mek Degong, is an experienced one, having had three litters at the San Diego Zoo and is supporting an endangered subspecies with each litter.
The Malayan tiger is the second smallest of the tiger subspecies and the male cubs reach approximately 250 pounds. They originate from the forests of Malay Peninsula on the southern tip of Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia. There are only about 500 Mayalan tigers left in the wild and the San Diego Zoo has five in its quarters as it has been conducting a breeding program with other zoos called the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan.
Malayan tigers need an abundant amount of space to survive, preying on small deer, boar, sun bear and elephant calf and the 100-acre San Diego Zoo has dedicated itself to conserving endangered animals and preserving their natural habitats.
According to Wikipedia, the Malayan Tiger has played a part in history being depicted in the Malaysian coat of arms symbolizing their government and appearing as a symbol of bravery and strength and it is also the nickname for the Malaysian national football team. In Malaysia, the tiger has been called “Uncle Stripes” or “Pak Belang.”
Are you going to calendar mid-July to go visit the San Diego Zoo and see Mek Degong’s debut to the public?