FOTA Wildlife Park has announced the birth of a Sumatran Tiger cub — one of the rarest subspecies of tiger in the world.
The Sumatran Tiger has been classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) since 2008.
The cub was born to first-time parents, five-year-old mother Dourga and father Denar who is also five.
Seán McKeown, director of Fota Wildlife Park, said: “This is a landmark birth for us — apart from the fact this is the first time that a tiger has been born in Fota, but also because this subspecies is so vulnerable to extinction as there are as few as 300 to 500 individuals remaining in the wild.”
“The Sumatran Tiger is Indonesia’s last tiger subspecies and it’s being pushed further and further towards extinction due to the devastation of their natural habitats, conflicts with humans and the deadly trade that poachers purvey. Therefore, anything we can do to contribute to the continued survival and genetic diversity of this subspecies is vitally important.”
Although the Wildlife Park does not yet know the sex of the cub, they are calling for the public to suggest a name beginning with ‘D’, via their website http://www.fotawildlife.ie