You can see Sohni, Malosi and their cubs on the Maharajah Jungle Trek and learn more about tigers by visiting DisneyAnimals.com.
by Scott Terrell, DVM, DACVP, Director of Animal & Science Operations, Walt Disney Parks & Resorts
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is celebrating the first birthday of the first Sumatran tiger cubs born at the park, Anala and Jeda. To mark the special occasion, our animal care team created a birthday-themed enrichment treat – a “cake” made for them to gnaw and paw. Enrichment is an important part of their care and is stimulating and fun for the animals.
The cubs have had a momentous first year. Both are thriving and have made significant growth in size and skills, as they stay close to their mom Sohni and learn from her lead.
Born weighing roughly three pounds each, Anala and Jeda have grown into robust young cubs. Today, Anala weighs 160 pounds, and Jeda is 167. For the sake of comparison, their father Malosi weighs 290 pounds.
(Cubs shown in photos above at one-month old on left and about seven months old on right.)
The cubs continue to hit all their development milestones and enjoy learning to be tigers – they practice hiding, creeping and pouncing on mom and each other.
As you might expect, Anala and Jeda act like siblings. They have a special bond but differ in many ways. Anala is feisty and independent in spirit. Jeda is more laid back. Both are incredibly intelligent, and guests continue to enjoy watching the tiger family play and explore their habitat on the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Anala and Jeda have also learned, like their parents, to participate in their own medical care. For example, they respond to certain hand signals or verbal cues by voluntarily opening their mouths or standing on a station for routine weight checks. They also present their tails and paws for inspection on cue.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom is proud to play an important role in the worldwide conservation and understanding of Sumatran tigers, a critically endangered species. The birth of these Sumatran tiger cubs was a remarkable event that took nearly three years of planning through the Species Survival Plan (SSP), which is overseen by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and ensures responsible breeding.
Fewer than 500 Sumatran tigers are left in the wild due to threats such as habitat loss, poaching and the illegal wildlife trade. Since 1995, the Disney Conservation Fund has provided more than $2.5 million to 14 nonprofit organizations working to protect tigers and their habitats in the wild. As a part of its focus on saving wildlife, the DCF is also helping the Wildlife Conservation Society and its partners protect tigers in Sumatra, Indonesia, by building support for tiger conservation, combating illegal wildlife trade and supporting community rangers who walked more than 5,600 miles in the last year to patrol 1,700 square miles of tigers’ forest habitat.