Tulsa Zoo welcomes new tiger cub

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Updated: 10/03/2012 1:27 pm Published: 10/03/2012 12:51 pm

The Tulsa Zoo is celebrating the birth of a brand new Malayan tiger cub named Berani.

Berani was born on August 26th to mother Jin and father Gahara.

Veterinary staff took care of Berani after his mother left the nest and and didn't return for several hours.  It is not unusual for first time mother tigresses to neglect their cubs, although they will often successfully raise following litters.

According to zoo officials, Berani is thriving in the care of veterinarians, but he does not have another tiger to teach him the behaviors.  Another tiger was born four days before Berani at a Tacoma, Washington zoo.  Tulsa veterinarians decided it was best for Berani to grow up with a sibling, so they are sending him to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.  This is in accordance with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan.

"It is important, whenever possible, for an animal like Berani to be raised with members of his own species," said Dr. Kay Backues, Tulsa Zoo Senior Staff Veterinarian in a release. "With another tiger playmate of similar age, he will grow up to be better socialized and behave in an appropriate way with humans and tigers. His future playmate and he will both benefit from the exercise and mental stimulation they will give each other and they will both be more likely to become successful adults, exhibit normal behaviors, act appropriately with other tigers and also have an increased chance of being successful breeders. The sooner we get the two animals together, the better for their growth and development."

The Tulsa Zoo is planning to open a new tiger exhibit in 2015 called Lost Kingdom Tiger as part of the zoo's 20 year master plan.

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