Two male Sumatran tiger cubs were born to mother Delta on March 5 at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, marking the 24th and 25th birth of this critically endangered species since the Park opened in 1972.
BLACK AND WHITE AND ORANGE ALL OVER
Tigers are famous for their orange, black, and white stripe pattern. The tiger is a stalk-and-ambush hunter, and the stripes are good camouflage in tall grass. Dark stripes on a pale background break up the tiger’s outline as it lies in wait for prey to come near.
Each tiger has its very own stripe pattern, and those who observe tigers learn to identify individuals by their unique stripes! Other interesting tiger markings are the white spots on the back of their ears. This may be a visual cue for tigers looking for other tigers, or it may be a way for mothers to keep their cubs in sight in the dense forest undergrowth.
Even though the Sumatran is the smallest tiger subspecies, it’s still a pretty big cat. Imagine a tiger the same length as a school cafeteria table! The Safari Park has a small group of Sumatran tigers, but in the wild there are only about 400 remaining.