Another endangered tiger delivers cubs at Vietnam zoo

Thanh Nien News

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF TUOI TRE
A four-year old Indochinese tigress recently delivered four cubs at the same Ho Chi Minh City zoo where another tigress gave birth to five in February, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported Thursday.
The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden's latest litter are in good health, according to the report.
In the meantime, three of five cubs born to a 10-year-old Indochinese tigress were transferred to a glass cage on Thursday for visitors to watch them, after being raised in isolation since birth.
Two smaller cubs remain in isolation.
Phan Viet Lam, director of the zoo, was quoted as saying the cubs have gotten their teeth and are being trained to eat meat, as they slowly wean them off of breast milk.
The cubs will be separated from their mother when they are three and a half or four months old, Lam said.
When they grow up, they will be moved to the 485 hectare (1198-acre) Saigon Safari Park, which is under construction in Cu Chi District.
The Saigon Zoo and Botanical Garden, which is the biggest of its kind in Vietnam, is now home to 15 tigers, including 11 Indochinese and four Bengals.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Indochinese tigers live in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and southwestern China.
Their status is poorly known compared to other tiger subspecies, but the extent of their recent decline is “serious,” it said.
In 2007, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species categorized Indochinese tigers as endangered, after their population fell to less than 2,500 individuals with no known sub population of more than 250.
IUCN believed that the species is approaching the threshold of “critically endangered.”

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