TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Topeka Zoo's triplet tiger cubs are nearing the two-month mark and going strong.
Zoo officials showed off the babies, all girls, to the media Thursday. Zoo Director Brendan Wiley says all three have topped 13 pounds and described their growth rate as "perfect." In fact, he said the cub who was the runt of the litter initially and needed keepers to intervene with feeding is now the largest of the trio.
This is mom Jingga's first litter. Wiley said it was a bit unusual to give birth to three live cubs in a first pregnancy. He expects the cubs will remain at the Topeka Zoo for at least two years and possibly as long as five years while they are matched with genetically-compatible males in zoo conservation programs elsewhere. There currently are only about 400 Sumatran tigers still living in the wild.
As for names, right now, zoo staff is calling them simply Cub 1, Cub 2 and Cub 3. Wiley says officials are still determining how they'll conduct the naming process, hoping to do so in a way that might raise funds for conservation efforts and also engage the community.
The cubs aren't expected to go on public display until early August.