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Mayor Mufi Hannemann today proudly announced that Chrissie, the Honolulu Zoo’s female Sumatran Tiger, has given birth to three cubs after a gestation period of 107 days.

“This is great news for the zoo and for everyone who loves animals,” Mayor Hannemann said. “Tigers are magnificent creatures, and we are very fortunate that Chrissie and the zoo’s other tigers live in Honolulu.”

Hannemann noted that many recent improvements at the zoo helped prompt The Intrepid Traveler publishing company to rank it among the nation’s best zoos.

“There’s so much to be happy about at the zoo,” Hannemann said. “It truly is one of Honolulu’s treasures.”

The cubs were born yesterday (Monday, Sept. 15), but it was not clear until today how many the litter included.

Tigers must have as much privacy as possible immediately after giving birth, so no photographs of the mother or cubs are available yet. 

Chrissie was born on June 1999 at the National Zoo in Washington DC. She was later donated to the Ft. Wayne Children’s Zoo in Indiana, and arrived in Honolulu on November 23, 2005. 

The father of the cubs is Berani, a Sumatran Tiger born on September 4, 1999 at the Phoenix Zoo. Berani also arrived in Honolulu on November 23, 2005 after a period at the Ft. Wayne Children’s Zoo. 

Chrissie and Berani are part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan for Sumatran Tigers, a structured breeding program designed to maximize genetic variability in the captive population. Chrissie and Berani previously produced a litter of two males and one female, at the Ft. Wayne Children’s Zoo on April 22, 2004. 

The cubs born Monday will not be named for several weeks, and may be moved to other zoos as part of the Species Survival program once they have matured.

There are 41 male and 27 female registered Sumatran Tigers in captivity in 25 zoos within the US and Canada.

Prior to Monday, the last time tigers were born at the Honolulu Zoo was on April 27, 1981, to a pair of Bengal/Siberian hybrids, Tex and Marybell. They produced a litter of five cubs, two of which were stillborn. Another cub died shortly after, leaving one male and one female who were eventually sent to other zoos.

Media contact: Department of Enterprise Services Director Sidney Quintal, 527-5415


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

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