DALLAS — There's a new tiger cub at the Dallas Zoo, and she's kind of a "BIG deal."
The zoo on Tuesday announced the birth of a Sumatran tiger named Sumini. She was named after a group of female rangers who are protecting the species in Indonesia.
Her birth was described as a big occasion because the Sumatran tiger is a "critically endangered species," with about 400 to 600 remaining in the wild, according to the Dallas Zoo.
Sumini is the zoo's first tiger cub since 1948, according to the zoo. Her parents, Sukacita and Kuasa, welcomed the new cub on Aug. 2.
"Each birth is a monumental win for ensuring the long-term survival of this species," the Dallas Zoo said in a Facebook post.
"Suki and Kuasa’s genes are under-represented within the [Association of Zoos and Aquariums]’s Sumatran Tiger Species Survival Plan — the group of experts responsible for maintaining the genetic diversity of the population in AZA-accredited zoos — making it even more important for Sumini to carry on these genetics for generations to come," the zoo said.
There were concerns with Sumini, however, as she entered the world, according to the zoo. The cub and her mother had to be closely monitored by staff as Sukacita was not producing enough milk, the zoo said.
The zoo made the decision to hand raise the cub after consulting with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
"We are incredibly thankful that Sumini is thriving under our care! She will remain behind the scenes for the time being, but we will keep you posted on her progress and what may be next for her in the coming weeks and months," the zoo said.