Japan: Brood of Ultra-Rare White Tiger Cubs Born at Zoo


The Tobu Zoo in Saitama, Japan, north-west of Tokyo welcomed its first ever brood of white tiger cubs on March 16th.

Five-year-old father Rocky and 7-year-old mother Carla gave birth to four healthy baby cubs, however the father will be separated from the cubs until the initial weaning period is over.

The extremely rare species has a population of only 100 to 200 world-wide. For zookeeper Hiroki Itakura the baby white tigers are a welcome addition to the zoo.

"White tiger, well for white tigers there are extremely rare species so that these white tigers were able to reproduce, for the zoo this is a joyous event," Itakura, who is in charge of the white tiger's care and breeding said.

Still too young to be separated from their mother the zoo tentatively plans to introduce the four babies to the public around May 2nd.

"Well, it is the first time for a white tiger to be born at the Tobu Zoo so we are really looking forward to introducing them to everyone when they are ready for public viewing," Itakura said.

At present the white felines have yet to be named, the zoo will accept name suggestions from the public and do an official naming ceremony at the end of May.

In Japan there are about 30 white tigers held in captivity.

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