Lola, the Oklahoma City Zoo’s 11-year-old female Sumatran tiger, gave birth to two cubs on the afternoon of Saturday, July 2 at the Zoo’s Cat Forest habitat.
OKC wasn’t the only zoo celebrating twins, as the Nashville Zoo announced that Jewels the clouded leopard had just given birth to a male and female cub four days later.
The two zoos are both heavily involved in conservation work with their respective big cat species, as the clouded leopard is considered Vulnerable, and the Sumatran tiger subspecies Critically-Endangered.
According to the OKC Zoo’s carnivore care team, Lola and her cubs are doing well and spending time together behind-the-scenes to bond.
Caretakers will continue to monitor Lola and her offspring by video, and in a few weeks the veterinary care team will conduct physical exams on each of the cubs to obtain their weights and measurements as well as determine their gender.
“Lola has proven to be an extremely attentive and nurturing mother to these new additions to our animal family,” said Tyler Boyd, OKC Zoo’s curator of carnivores.
“Throughout her pregnancy and birth of these cubs, she has participated in ultrasound monitoring and training sessions with her caretakers that allowed us to be as prepared as possible for their arrival. So far, Lola is doing an excellent job and the cubs are spending plenty of time nursing and bonding with mom.”
It’s the second litter of cubs born to Lola and her mate Kami, taking the tiger total there to 5.
In contrast, Nashville Zoo said they now have 16 clouded leopards in their care, bringing their total birth celebrations to 42 since 2009, according to local news.
The Zoo is also a founding member of the Clouded Leopard Consortium, a program based out of Thailand dedicated to saving clouded leopards and their habitat, and has been involved in the conservation of this cat species since the Zoo’s inception.
Also active in protecting the 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, OKC Zoo used funds donated by guests through the Zoo’s Round Up for Conservation program to allow the non-profit Rainforest Trust to purchase 13,000 acres of rainforest in central Sumatra where these tigers live.