BR Zoo tiger cubs are 3-weeks old, starting to walk - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

BR Zoo tiger cubs are 3-weeks old, starting to walk

Female tiger cubs  (Source: BR Zoo) Female tiger cubs (Source: BR Zoo)
(Source: BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo) (Source: BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo)

The two female tiger cubs at BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo are doing well. Zoo officials say they've doubled their weight from birth just three weeks ago. Their eyes are opened and they are standing on all fours and trying to walk.

Two Malayan tiger cubs were born in BREC's Baton Rouge Zoo on July 29, 2014. The cubs are currently in the tiger den with their mother and will remain there until they are old enough to come out on the exhibit.The two cubs are the first tiger cubs born at the Baton Rouge Zoo in almost 25 years, and the fifth and sixth Malayan cubs born in the U.S. this year.

The public will have a chance to help name the cubs in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the two will remain in their den with their mother until they get stronger and a little more independent.

The Malayan subspecies is the smallest of the tiger species and was first recognized in 2004. With an estimated 500 or fewer existing in the wild, they are currently identified as Endangered with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The primary threats against the subspecies have been habitat loss and poaching. Their natural range stretches from Thailand to the Malay Peninsula, which in recent years has had an increase of deforestation and urban sprawl.

The cubs were born to the Zoo's female Malayan tiger, who came to the Zoo in 2009 from the Fort Worth Zoo, and the Zoo's male Malayan tiger, who arrived from the Little Rock Zoo in 2012. Tiger cubs typically stay in a den with their mother for eight to twelve weeks and will venture out on exhibit only after they are strong enough to navigate the space independently.

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