The adorable cub was named "Sumini after the leader of a group of female rangers protecting the Sumatran tiger in the forests of Indonesia."
With Sumatran tigers being critically endangered, the birth of every single cub is a massive reason to celebrate. That's why the Dallas Zoo took a moment to introduce the world to baby Sumini, the tiny Sumatran tiger cub that was born at the zoo on August 2. "We are thrilled to announce that Sumatran tigers Sukacita ("Suki") and Kuasa are the proud parents of this adorable little cub, who we have named Sumini after the leader of a group of female rangers protecting the Sumatran tiger in the forests of Indonesia," the Dallas Zoo wrote on Facebook.
Making Sumini's birth all the more special is the fact that she is the first tiger cub born in the zoo since the year 1948. That's why her birth is a big win for the Dallas Zoo as well.
"While she may be little, she is a BIG deal for both the Dallas Zoo, as our first tiger cub since 1948, and for her critically endangered species," the zoo continued. "With only an estimated 400-600 Sumatran tigers remaining in the wild, each birth is a monumental win for ensuring the long-term survival of this species."
Although Sumini's birth put a smile on the staff's faces, her life began with a rough start because her mother, Suki, was not able to produce enough milk for her. "Sumini’s journey into the world has not been an easy one so far. During her first few days of life, Suki and her cub were closely monitored by animal care staff, and it became apparent that Suki was not producing enough milk to sustain the cub," the zoo shared.
The zoologists and vets then consulted tiger care experts from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. They eventually decided to provide some extra care to Sumini from their side and began hand-raising the cub, according to WFAA,
"While hand-rearing is not ideal, we know this was the right move for both the cub and for Suki," the zoo added in their statement. "Our zoologists, veterinarians, and nutrition staff are working around the clock and in constant contact with the SSP to monitor her development and ensure she is getting the best care possible."
Such a precious baby! 💖💖💖— smsunsparkle (@smsunsparkle) September 1, 2021
Welcome little one❤— Fully vaccinated Nel 🌊🌊🌊🇺🇸 (@minibitty) September 1, 2021
Such a cute baby cub— rungirlrun🛹🌱 (@rungirlrun07) September 1, 2021
For now, Sumini is thriving and will stay away from the spotlight for a while. Watching the little cub grow up will be quite the journey for the experts looking after her because of her genes. "Suki and Kuasa’s genes are under-represented within the AZA’s Sumatran Tiger Species Survival Plan—the group of experts responsible for maintaining the genetic diversity of the population in AZA-accredited zoos—making it even more important for Sumini to carry on these genetics for generations to come," the zoo explained.
The zoo ended their statement by saying: "We are incredibly thankful that Sumini is thriving under our care! She will remain behind the scenes for the time being, but we will keep you posted on her progress and what may be next for her in the coming weeks and months."
Cover image source: Dallas Zoo