Attention, animal lovers, the National Zoo has announced the Sumatran tiger cubs are cleared for their public debut.
On Wednesday, the 13-week-old brother and sister made their media debut when they took the swim reliability test, a test that helps determine if the cubs are ready to explore their outdoor habitat. The cubs passed as they were able to keep their heads above water, make their way to the shallow end and climb onto dry land.
“Tigers are one of the few species of cats that enjoy taking a dip in water,” Craig Saffoe, curator of Great Cats, said. “The moat exists for the safety of our visitors, but it could present an obstacle for young cats.Our job is to make sure that if the cubs venture into the moat, they know how and where to get out. These cubs represent hope for their critically endangered species’ future, so we need to take every precaution to ensure their survival.”
The tiger cubs were officially named Wednesday after Friends of the National Zoo hosted an auction where the proceeds will help support ongoing research and education outreach at the Great Cats exhibit. The winner donated $25,000 and decided to name the female Sukacita, which means “joy” in Indonesian. The keepers chose Bandar as the male tiger cub’s name.
Want to keep your eye on the tiger cubs until they make their public debut Nov. 18? Check out The National Zoo’s Tiger Cub Cam.