San Diego Zoo Safari Park asks public to help name tiger cubs
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — The San Diego Zoo Safari Park was asking the public Monday to help pick names for a rescued Bengal tiger cub and his friend, a Sumatran tiger cub from the Smithsonian’s National Zoo.
The approximately 3-month-old, rescued Bengal tiger cub and his 4-month-old companion, a Sumatran tiger cub are settling in nicely to their new home at the Tull Family Tiger Trail.
The two cubs were previously spending time at the Safari Park’s Ione and Paul Harter Animal Care Center, but now they are living exclusively at the Tull Family Tiger Trail habitat.
The zoo has opened voting to the public with several names listed for each animal.
In August of this year, U.S. border officials confiscated a Bengal tiger cub after inspecting a car heading from Mexico to California.
Using a flashlight, a Customs and Border Protection inspector saw an animal lying on the floor between the passenger’s legs and asked if it was a tiger. The passenger told the inspector that the animal was not a tiger but just a cat, according to an affidavit filed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Special Agent Eduardo Nieves.
Officials seized the tiger cub and it was taken to the Safari Park, where a biologist confirmed it was a tiger cub.
Veterinary staff at the hospital said they performed a thorough health exam on the tiger cub and determined that he was in good health. The cub was sent to the Safari Park, where he was paired with a Sumatran tiger cub who was rejected by his mother.
“The two cubs are adjusting really well to their new home,” said Lori Hieber, senior mammal keeper, San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “They’re doing great. They act like little brothers; they play and cuddle a lot, and they squabble a bit like most brothers, but it’s all natural, healthy behavior.”
The cubs have bonded well, and they are growing in leaps and bounds. They are currently fully weaned from formula, and are exclusively eating a carnivore diet. Both cubs now weigh 32 pounds.
As they continue to grow, the Bengal tiger will eventually outweigh the Sumatran tiger by about 200 pounds, given the difference between these two tiger subspecies.
“We feel really fortunate to have these two cubs here,” Hieber said. “It was an unusual circumstance for us to acquire them, but we think they’re in the best possible hands, and they’re going to have a wonderful life while they’re here at Tiger Trail.”
The winning tiger cub names will be announced Thursday, Nov. 30. Click HERE to vote.