Tiger Cubs at the Chaffee Zoo?
There are only 500 Malayan tigers in the wild and the zoo. The United States is the only country with a breeding program. This involves about 60 of the big cats in 26 zoos and Fresno is one of 26 facilities in the United States to participate in an active breeding program. The two tigers are among with six wild tigers that were brought to the United States as part of a preservation project. Mek and Pak are part of a project to save tigers that were endangering humans or losing their territory to development. Mek and Pak probably would not have survived if the United States didn’t have this breeding program this year. Now that Mek and Pak mated the Fresno Chaffee Zoo may soon see little baby Malayan tiger cubs. Zoo officials are keeping fingers crossed that the rare Malayan tiger’s cubs will be born without complications. The zoo knew about Mek’s pregnancy because zookeepers noticed her gaining weight and changing shape. An ultrasound showed two cubs and possibly three and Mek’s due date is at the end of this month or in early January. Mek’s previous experience as mother should be a positive results for the zoo. This also gives us better odds since she had a couple of cubs in San Diego about three years ago. Then Mek was moved to the Fresno zoo to breed. Now that Mek is pregnant she kept inside and only Pak is shown at the zoo. The fact that Mek has had cubs before and is experienced in raised cubs it gives the Chaffee Zoo much hope.