The Sumatran twin tigers in Dallas Zoo finally got to explore their new exhibit and with it, their older sister who takes care of them according to a Dallas Morning News article from February 18 which reports,
“Nety and Rudi, the 9-week-old twins, recently took their first steps inside their public-facing exhibit, an important milestone toward being on view full-time with their older sister, 6-month-old Sumini.
“The idea of having more than one cub together is that they teach each other how to behave and be a tiger,” said Audra Cooke, zoological manager.
The zoo is taking the process slow, for now. Sumini has only met the cubs for a few minutes at a time, but staff are working on slowly increasing the length of their interactions, Cooke said.
“We have to be very careful how we’re doing those introductions to make sure that [Sumini] doesn’t get too excited, because they’re almost like a squeaky toy to her,” Cooke said. “She doesn’t recognize them as baby tigers. She doesn’t have that experience with an adult tiger to teach her what’s too rough, how to play politely.”
After seeing Sumini sleep each night in a staff-made nest box, Rudi and Nety started doing the same, Dosch said. And when the cubs saw how much fun Sumini was having with her favorite pastime – climbing inside a large plastic tube and rolling around — they decided to try it, too.”
Both the twins born in December were named after two conservationists to recognize the latter’s effort to save the Sumataran tigers according to a Fox 4 News article from January 5. They say,
“The Dallas Zoo named its new Sumatran tiger cubs after conservationists who are working to save the critically endangered species.
The female cub was named Nety after Nety Riana Sari, who has a project to restore forests in Sumatra, Indonesia.
The male cub was named Rudi after Rudi Putra, who’s trying to protect one of the last remaining rainforests in that country.”
Despite the baby twins and the older sister getting along together in the new exhibit, they will still be limited from being visited and seen so as to not put any pressure on them while they are in a crucial phase of their life cycle.