An Indochinese tigress gave birth to five cubs at a zoo in Vietnam more than one month ago, which experts say is a rare phenomenon in years. A Tuoi Tre reporter has become one of the few to be allowed to take the ensuing exclusive pictures.
VIDEO AT THE END
The mother tiger, 10 years old, produced her young at Saigon Zoo in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City following a 104-day pregnancy.
She had been interbred with a 7-year-old tiger from a zoo in Hanoi after efforts to mate her with tigers coming from other Southeast Asian countries failed to yield any result.
Zoologists say that Indochinese tigers rarely produce offspring, and if they do, they are merely delivered of two or three babies at a time.
It was the first time during the past 20 years that an Indochinese tigress had given birth to five cubs at the same time at Saigon Zoo.
Zookeepers have separated the two weakest cubs from the tigress for safety reasons as the mother tends to only keep the strongest babies.
The two little cats are being given care so special that not everyone can get access to them.
The Indochinese tiger is a tiger subspecies dispersed throughout the Indochina region of Southeast Asia.
It is categorized as endangered by The International Union for the Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
One of the two weakest cubs that have been separated from the mother tiger for safety reasons as she tends to only keep the strongest offspring
Nguyen Ba Phu, a Saigon zoo vet, puts one of the two separated cubs in a cage for sunbathing.
Whenever it is cold, the two separated baby tigers are warmed this way.
Tran Thi My Hanh, a Saigon Zoo animal caretaker, checks the health of a tiger cub.
Tran Minh Tam, a Saigon Zoo staff member, measures the weight of a baby tiger. The biggest weighs five kilograms now.
The Indochinese tigress that gave birth to five cubs more than one month ago