BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo to Celebrate Tiger Cubs’ First Birthday

July 29 2015

BATON ROUGE, LA. —  On Saturday, August 1, the general public is invited to help BREC’s Baton Rouge Zoo wish its two female Malayan tiger cubs, Hadiah and Kayu Merah, a happy first birthday. The cubs, who were born one year ago today, coincidentally share their birthday with International Tiger Day.

“It’s hard to believe that it has already been a year since they were born,” said Phil Frost, Zoo Director. “Over the past year it has been incredible to not only watch them grow, but to be able to give our guests the same opportunity. Guests can always visit the cubs at the Zoo, but our Tiger Cam gave us an even greater opportunity to share this with the people who might not be able to come to the Zoo. Those who have been watching have been able to see the cubs learn new skills, develop their own personalities and discover how much fun it can be to jump into a big pile of leaves.”

Activities to celebrate the cubs’ birthday will include birthday cakes for the cubs at 10 a.m., tiger information and tiger fact games throughout the day at Realm of the Tiger, and special themed Safari Amphitheatre programs.

“Guests who haven’t seen the cubs in a while may be surprised by their size,” said Sam Winslow, Assistant Director and General Curator. “Hadiah and Kayu Merah now weigh around 150 pounds and now have all their permanent teeth. They have gradually become less dependent on their mom and, while we have no immediate plans to move them, they will likely be ready to go start their own families in the next few years.”
The Malayan subspecies is the smallest of the tiger species and was first recognized in 2004. With an estimated 500 or fewer existing in the wild, they are currently identified as Critically Endangered with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The primary threats against the subspecies have been habitat loss and poaching. Their natural range stretches from Thailand to the Malay Peninsula, which in recent years has had an increase of deforestation and urban sprawl.