The 6-day old Sumatran tiger cub at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is being hand-reared after health checks showed he lost weight and was not getting enough milk, the zoo said today.
Staff today moved the cub from the den box where he was born to the zoo’s Animal Health Care clinic.
He was not gaining weight, was dehydrated and had a low temperature, head zoo veterinarian Karen Wolf said.
Mother Jaya was not as attentive to him as she was to the litter she had two years ago, zoo staff said.
She was leaving the den box often, which didn’t give the cub enough time to nurse.
In the clinic the cub will be bottle fed every four hours to boost his weight. He’s about 3 pounds now.
The first several days “will be critical,” Wolf said.
He’s responded well to the bottle feeding and has been “very vocal” so far, she said.
There are an estimated 500 of the endangered Sumatran tigers worldwide.