3 Sumatran Tiger Cubs Need Names - You Can Help

The three newest members of the Point Defiance Zoo family passed their well-cub checkups with flying colors this week. Born at between 2.5 and 3 pounds each, the three girl cubs now weigh in at 7.67, 7.80 and 8.31 pounds.

They're three weeks old, and they're ready to be named. The Zoo is asking for the public's help in choosing names. You can vote online at www.pdza.org/cubs from now until November 13 on a list of names.

  • Dari (Dar-ee ) short for Ndari, meaning full moon because the cubs were born during full moon
  • Kirana (Keer-rana), meaning beautiful sunbeam
  • Asmara (As-mar-ah), meaning love
  • Indah (N-da), meaning beautiful one
  • Merah (Meer-ah), meaning blushful, picked because the cubs were born during a full moon.
  • Diah (Dee-ah), meaning young female

The three endangered Sumatran tiger cubs were born on October 8, which makes them Libras. The winning names will be assigned to the three cubs, based on their personalities. The final names will be announced November 14.

In 2013 the birth of a Sumatran tiger cub to Jaya, also the mother of these three, caught zookeepers off guard. That cub was raised by zookeepers, as Jaya showed little interest in her. this time around Jaya is being an attentive mother, and nursing the cubs herself. These newest cubs bring the number of tigers at Point Defiance to nine, including their parents, three other Sumatran tigers, and one Malayan tiger.

Only about 300 Sumatran tigers remain in the wild, due to poaching and habitat destruction, primarily for the growth of oil palms. If you'd like to contribute to tiger conservation efforts, you can donate by calling The Zoo Society at 253-404-3651 or go to www.pdza.org/cubs.

“These donations make a huge difference,” [zoo General Curator Dr. Karen] Goodrowe Beck said. “They help fund anti-poaching efforts, education about tigers and other conservations initiatives in Southeast Asia.”

You can also learn more the link between palm oil production and habitat destruction in Southeast Asia, including actions you can take to help, through the zoo’s Paws for the Cause program. 

They're fluffy little balls of fur and blurry blue eyes right now, but a peek at their already impressive claws confirms that they will grow up to be seriously big cats. They're living behind the scenes for now, probably for about another month, but here's a video of them, courtesy of the Point Defiance Zoo.

Which names get your vote?

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