Three rare Malayan tiger cubs are spending their first days bonding with Mom at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.
As the triplets and their mother acclimate, zoo officials have seen the fuzzy striped babies only via a video camera in their nursery enclosure.
Animal care staff are keeping their distance so the family time can adjust to one another after the births Sunday. Zoo officials posted an edited video of Cinta, the new mother, caring for her striped babies on the zoo’s Facebook page.
“Cinta has been very attentive to her babies, grooming and allowing the cubs to nurse,” the zoo’s Facebook announcement said. “So we are giving them space while they get settled in and bond privately behind the scenes. Our animal care staff continue to monitor them to ensure they are eating, sleeping and cuddling as they should.”
The Malayan tiger is one of the smallest tiger species found throughout the southern and central parts of the Malay Peninsula and southern parts of Thailand, according to the malaysianwildlife.org conservation site. The tiger, a solitary animal with fewer than 150 left in the wild, is the national symbol of Malaysia.
Zoo officials said Cinta has been attentive to her babies, grooming and allowing the cubs to nurse as video monitoring continues to ensure that they are eating, sleeping and cuddling as they should. They said that there are potential risks to the cubs at this stage of their lives, but zoo officials said they remain “cautiously optimistic.”
The birth announcement comes as CSX Corp. announced this week that it will donate $1 million to the Jacksonville zoo to support the construction of its new CSX Bicentennial Train station at the facility’s entrance. The new station’s grand opening is set for fall 2025.