Tiger Beat: Fresno zoo's Malayan cubs cutting their teeth

The Fresno BeeFebruary 24, 2014 

The four Malayan tiger cubs at Fresno Chaffee Zoo are cutting teeth — lots of them.

"A full mouth — really sharp," says Lyn Myers, the zoo's assistant curator.

Their teething rings are "sticks, logs and each other," Myers says.

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Born at the zoo Jan. 5, the cubs turned 50 days old Monday. Workers checked their development with weekly weigh-ins. One by one, the cubs were placed in a rubber tub. One quickly wiggled out; another posed.

The two females weighed in at 12.28 and 10.3 pounds. The two males weighed 10.75 and 9.97 pounds. Clean bills of health for all.

The cubs continue to drink a lot of mother Mek's milk. But, with their teeth development, the cubs also are showing interest in meat that they smell on mom's breath.

The cubs are gaining 1 to 2 pounds a week. When they are on a meat diet, they will gain about 10 pounds per month.

Those teeth also are leaving marks on the arms of zoo workers, but they aren't backing off.

"There's a lot of pressure behind the bite," Myers says. "We get poke holes, but that's normal. By handling them, they can be better accustomed to humans — and we can provide better care along the way."

 

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6304 or rorozco@fresnobee.com.

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