Zoo Taiping and Night Safari (ZTNS), now has eight Malayan tigers after an 11-year-old tigress gave birth to three cubs on Apr 12, the last day of the second phase of Movement Control Order (MCO).

Taiping Municipal Council chairman Khairul Amir Mohamad Zubir said the cubs, weighing between 700gram and 900gram, are reported to be stable and good condition.

“However, the gender of the cubs have yet to be identified. Their mother which was also born at the zoo is reported to be in a good condition too.

“Every new cub will live with their mothers at least for 18 months and wean off when it reaches between three- and four-month-old,” he said in a statement today.

Khairul Amir said according to zoo director Dr Kevin Lazarus, the Malayan tiger’s lifespan would usually last between 16- and 20-years-old.

“Dr Kevin says this is the fourth birth of Malayan tiger at the zoo since 2009. The zoo management has provided a place for the cubs’ mother after it mating naturally in early January.

“The birth of the cubs was realised by a zookeeper. At this moment, the zookeepers will ensure that the mother and the cubs are in the most comfortable and safest place.

“We are targeting to increase the Malayan tiger population by 500 within five years and ZTNS will always strive to assist the country in its role in the breeding, conservation and learning of wildlife in the country,” he said.

Based on the Internatinal Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Malayan tigers are in ‘red zone’ when it recorded less than 200 tigers in the country.

There are various factors that contribute to the decrease in the number of Malayan tigers including poaching, lose natural habitat, pollution and others.