The newest addition to the Point Defiance tiger family will make her public debut Thursday.
The rare Sumatran cub was a surprise to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium staff members who found the newborn in a nest box April 17. Mother Jaya had not shown signs of being pregnant.
The baby tiger might be hard to see in the cub den most of the day while she’s sleeping, according to the zoo.
Visitors can watch as zookeepers bottle-feed the cub and interact with her at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily.
The name of the cub, who is being hand-reared because Jaya showed little interest in her, will be announced today.
“She’s only 3 weeks old, but she’s already sort of asserting her personality, and based on some of the characteristics that she was showing the staff, they came up with a name that fit her,” zoo spokeswoman Kris Sherman said. “In one way, she just sort of named herself.”
Sherman hinted that the cub is “strong, independent, really energetic.”
The zoo is also home to the newborn’s father, Malosi, who came from Honolulu last year at the age of 3 to breed with Jaya. Jaya’s sons Bima, 3, and Dumai, who is about 10 months old, also live at Point Defiance.
Malayan tiger Berani, also about 10 months old, joined Point Defiance from the Tulsa Zoo in October as Dumai’s playmate.
There are an estimated 300 Sumatran tigers in the wild in their native habitat on the Indonesian Island of Sumatra.