There are few miracles on Earth more magnificent than the miracle of birth. Each species has their intricacies when it comes to giving birth – and the tiger’s habits are genuinely fascinating. This rarely seen birthing process was put on display recently when Kaitlyn the Sumatran tiger gave birth to two little male cubs. Unfortunately, things got off to a rocky start with the first cub as it struggled to breathe when welcomed into the world. Thankfully, Kaitlyn’s motherly instincts kicked in and she did a few tiger-like tricks to get her baby’s lungs open. We’re so glad the team at Austrailia Zoo shared this heartwarming footage online for us to see…
Sadly, the Sumatran tiger is one of the most critically endangered animals. Recent figures estimate there are only 400-600 wild Sumatran tigers left in the world. That’s why conservationist programs (like carefully monitoring Kaitlyn’s birth to ensure success) take place. We can’t risk the Sumatran tiger going extinct like its cousins, the Bali and Javan tiger. As a first-time mother, it’s even more important for the zookeepers to watch the birth of Kaitlyn’s cubs closely. They need to be ready to jump in at a moment’s notice if something goes wrong.
Thankfully, Kaitlyn acts like an old pro and begins licking the first cub immediately after he’s born. Licking stimulates the cub’s lungs, encouraging him to start breathing on his own. But, even as Kaitlyn licks her first cub, it gasps for air. She doesn’t give up! The new mother vigorously cleans her newborn until he’s able to pull in a full breath of air. Take a peek at this incredible birth and Kaitlyn’s impressive instincts in the video below. She’s one proud mother!