Sumatran tigress Lola gives birth to two healthy cubs – Daily Ardmoreite
Oklahoma City Zoo
Summer is off to an exciting start for the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden with the recent birth of critically endangered Sumatran tiger twins. OKC Zoo’s 11-year-old Sumatran tigress Lola gave birth to two cubs on Saturday July 2 in the zoo’s Cat Forest habitat. The first cub was born around 4:31 p.m. and the second shortly after at 4:49 p.m.
According to the zoo’s carnivore care team, Lola and her young are doing well and are spending time together behind the scenes to bond. Caretakers will continue to monitor Lola and her offspring via video and will carry out limited visual checks and observe the cubs nursing within hours of birth. In a few weeks, the zoo’s veterinary care team will perform physical examinations on each of the cubs to obtain their weights and measurements as well as to determine their sex.
“Lola has proven to be an extremely caring and nurturing mother to these new additions to our family of animals,” said Tyler Boyd, curator of carnivores at the OKC Zoo. “Throughout her pregnancy and the birth of these cubs, she participated in ultrasound follow-up and training sessions with her caretakers which ensured that we were as prepared as possible for their arrival. So far, Lola is doing a great job and the cubs are spending a lot of time caring and bonding with mom.
Lola and her cubs will remain out of public view at Cat Forest until the cubs are old enough to receive their first round of vaccinations and navigate their outdoor habitat safely. The zoo will share updates about Lola and her twins on its social media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.
The successful birth of these twins makes this Lola the second litter with her companion Kami, 14 years old. The breeding pair welcomed male triplets in July 2017. The OKC Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP) for Sumatran tigers which recommended Lola and Kami to breed. The zoo is committed to helping protect Sumatran tigers and maintaining their population through its participation in the AZA’s SSP for this critically endangered species.
Lola and her three siblings born at the OKC Zoo on July 9, 2011 were the first litter of Sumatran tigers to be born at the zoo. In 2017, on the day of her birth, July 9, Lola gave birth to her first litter, male triplets – Eko, Gusti and Ramah. A few days after giving birth to her cubs, Lola became the adoptive mother of a female Amur tiger, Zoya. Zoya, now 4, was born at the Philadelphia Zoo and her mother didn’t have the maternal instinct to care for her, so Zoya was nurtured with Lola’s triplets. This was the first documented case of cross-breeding of tigers of a different subspecies among AZA zoos. Following an AZA SSP® breeding recommendation for Amur tigers, Zoya moved to Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot, ND and gave birth to three cubs, her first litter, in March. Eko and Gusti have moved to other AZA zoos as recommended by the SSP for Sumatran Tigers and Ramah resides in the OKC Zoo Cat Forest Habitat.
Sumatran tigers are critically endangered with only around 500 individuals living in the forests of Indonesia. Their survival is seriously threatened by habitat loss mainly due to the cultivation of oil palm plantations and illegal hunting. In addition to supporting the AZA SSP for Sumatran Tigers, OKC Zoo is committed to protecting this species through a partnership with Rainforest Trust, a conservation organization whose mission is to work with local partners to buy and protect endangered rainforests. With funds donated by OKC Zoo guests through the zoo’s Round Up for Conservation program, Rainforest Trust has purchased 13,000 acres of rainforest in Central Sumatra. This lowland forest is rich in biodiversity and is now designated as a protected area, safe from conversion to oil palm plantations and logging and monitored to prevent illegal activities, such as poaching. Some of the zoo’s most popular and endangered species, including Asian elephants, Sumatran orangutans, and Sumatran tigers, are found here.
Follow OKC Zoo on social media for all things tiger cubs! The Oklahoma City Zoo is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with last entry no later than 4 p.m. Connect with wildlife and tons of fun as you experience the all-new BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise at the OKC Zoo. Sponsored by Devon, BRICKLIVE features over 45 life-size animal statues made with nearly two million toy bricks! BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until October 30, 2022. Purchase tickets in advance for General Admission to the Zoo and BRICKLIVE at www.okczoo.org/tickets. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, the Adventure District of Oklahoma City and an Adventure Road partner. Regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and older. Children two and under are admitted free.
Stay connected with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linktree and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. To learn more about zoo events, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.