Rescued tiger cub and companion ready for viewers at San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Posted at 10:01 PM, Nov 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-04 01:23:12-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Time to celebrate, San Diego. Your two favorite tiger cubs are ready for visitors at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. 

Friday the zoo released video of the cubs enjoying their new home. The approximately 3-month-old, rescued Bengal tiger cub and his 4-month-old companion, a Sumatran tiger cub are settling in nicely at the Tull Family Tiger Trail. 

“The two cubs are adjusting really well to their new home,” said Lori Hieber, senior mammal keeper at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. “They’re doing great. They act like little brothers; they play and cuddle a lot, and they squabble a bit like most brothers, but it’s all natural, healthy behavior.”

The Bengal tiger cub was brought to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on  August 23, 2017, after being confiscated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers during a vehicle inspection at the U.S./Mexico port of entry near San Diego. 

RELATED: Customs and Border Protection agents seize tiger cub at US-Mexico border

He remains under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Sumatran tiger cub was born at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, but his mother was unable to care for him properly. 

RELATED: Washington, DC tiger cub flown to San Diego to be paired with smuggled tiger

The cubs have bonded well and are growing quickly - weighing in at 32 pounds. They are fully weaned from formula, and now eat an exclusively carnivore diet.

As they continue to grow, the Bengal tiger will eventually outweigh the Sumatran tiger by about 200 pounds, given the difference between these two tiger subspecies.

“We feel really fortunate to have these two cubs here,” said Hieber. “It was an unusual circumstance for us to acquire them, but we think they’re in the best possible hands, and they’re going to have a wonderful life while they’re here at Tiger Trail.” 

The cubs will be visible to guests daily from 9 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. They may also be seen occasionally on the Safari Park’s online Tiger Cam.

Like all tigers, the critically endangered Sumatran tiger and endangered Bengal tiger subspecies face many challenges in the wild, from loss of habitat to conflicts with humans, but the biggest threat continues to be poaching. 

Tigers are killed by poachers who illegally sell tiger body parts, mostly for folk remedies. People can help protect wild tigers by avoiding products made with non-sustainable palm oil, an industry that harms tiger habitat; and by refusing to purchase items made from endangered wildlife.

RELATED: Exotic animal smuggling a growing problem

***Bringing species back from the brink of extinction is the goal of San Diego Zoo Global. As a leader in conservation, the work of San Diego Zoo Global includes on-site wildlife conservation efforts (representing both plants and animals) at the San Diego Zoo, San Diego Zoo Safari Park, and San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research, as well as international field programs on six continents. 

The work of these entities is inspiring children through the San Diego Zoo Kids network, reaching out through the internet and in children’s hospitals nationwide. 

The work of San Diego Zoo Global is made possible by the San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy and is supported in part by the Foundation of San Diego Zoo Global.