The Australia Zoo Big Cat crew have announced Kaitlyn the 5 year old Sumatran tiger is pregnant. Photo Darryn Smith / Sunshine Coast Daily
The Australia Zoo Big Cat crew have announced Kaitlyn the 5 year old Sumatran tiger is pregnant. Photo Darryn Smith / Sunshine Coast Daily Darryn Smith

Cubs on the way for Australia Zoo's Sumatran tiger

ONE of Australia Zoo's beloved tigers is pregnant again.

Kaitlyn the Sumatran tiger is expecting a litter of three cubs next month.

Australia Zoo made the announcement on Facebook this morning.

"Australia Zoo is thrilled to announce is again pregnant, expecting a litter of three cubs to be born at the Zoo next month! More news to come!" the status read.

This will be the five year old tiger's second pregnancy - she lost her first litter early in the pregnancy in April.

They were due in late June.

A Sumatran tiger's gestation period is about 3.5 months.

At the time, Head Tiger Keeper Giles Clark said Kaitlyn was considered one of the most genetically valuable individuals in the world; with less than 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, breeding in captivity is crucial for the future of the species.

He said at the time that they were optimistic she would have cubs in the future.

Mr Clark said the anticipation of new cubs has been building since Ramalon, the cubs' 18-year-old father, showed positive fertility results last year.

"When the tigers began mating in early March, we were very excited to say the least."

"Not only will these cubs ensure the survival of the species in captivity, but they will also provide genetic diversity among captive tiger populations. Kaitlyn's wild bloodline is an important factor."

Visitors to Australia Zoo will have an opportunity to see the cubs later in the year.

The new cubs will also play an important role acting as ambassadors for their wild cousins.


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