There are few miracles on earth more wondrous than the miracle of birth. Each species has its nuances when it comes to giving birth—and the tiger’s habits are really cool. This seldom observed birthing process came to light recently when Caitlin the Sumatran tiger gave birth to two young male cubs. Unfortunately things didn’t start well with the first cub as he struggled to breathe while being welcomed into the world. Thankfully, Kaitlyn’s maternal instincts kicked in and she pulled off some tiger-like tricks to open up her baby’s lungs. We are delighted that the Australia Zoo team has shared these exciting 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!