Come on out to the Zoo on Saturday, July 29, to celebrate Global Tiger Day with special activities at the Malayan tiger habitat in Cat Canyon from 10:00am to 3:00pm. See how big our three tiger cubs—Chira, Batari and Izzy—have grown, talk to their keepers, and learn how you can support tiger conservation.
It’s been almost six months since the cubs were born on February 3. They received around-the-clock care from Zoo staff as their mother, Cinta, was unable to care for them herself. Weighing just 2 to 3 pounds at birth, the girls have now grown to around 70 pounds each!
In midsummer, the playful cubbies were introduced to the outdoor habitat in Cat Canyon and have been exploring their new playground. Currently, they spend the better part of the day between 10:00am and 3:00pm in the outdoor habitat, weather permitting. If it’s very humid or rainy, they may choose to stay indoors.
The best time to catch the cubs running around and playing is in the morning. They are offered plenty of enrichment to encourage natural behaviors and keep them mentally and physically active, including hard toys, mirrors and bubbles. Since felines are very scent-oriented, smelly items like catnips, perfumes and spices are especially interesting to them. They also like to chew on the trees in their outdoor habitat. Even with all this enrichment, the cubs really seem to prefer to just play with each other. Izzy appears to be the primary instigator of rough and tumble play.
So how do you tell the three little tigers apart? Batari has the most black on her face compared to the other two, especially surrounding her eyes. Izzy and Chira are tougher to identify. Look for a small white tuft of hair behind Izzy’s right ear to distinguish between the two.
We are proud to contribute to the growth of the Malayan tiger population in zoos as well as in the wild. The Zoo continues to support Panthera’s Tigers Forever program, which focuses on preventing poaching across Asia. The great news is that tiger populations have increased in five of the Tigers Forever sites, including the Endau-Rompin-Johor site in Malaysia. Learn more about Panthera and how you can help wild tigers at https://www.panthera.org/globaltigerday.