Rare Sumatran tiger birthing in zoo caught on tape

Surveillance video captured the zoo's eight-year-old Sumatran tiger Damai giving birth.

It turns out that The Smithsonian’s National Zoo has a new guest in the form of a critically endangered Sumatran tiger cub born at the zoo. Surveillance video captured the zoo’s eight-year-old Sumatran tigress Damai giving birth to the newest member.

Veterinarians haven't yet been able to confirm the sex of the cub because they are giving the animals time to bond.

The keepers watched the video via closed circuit cameras and continue to monitor the cub, who they say appears to be nursing and behaving normally.

The cub is the second litter for Damai but is the first for the zoo's 13-year-old male Sumatran tiger, Sparky.

Keepers started monitoring Damai closely after she bred with Sparky in late March and they confirmed her pregnancy in June following an ultrasound.

The cub will not be on view at the zoo for several months until it has completed a series of health exams, received its vaccinations and successfully passed a swim test.

Sumatran tigers are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It is estimated that between 300 and 400 exist in the wild.

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