Tiger Beat: Cubs start eating meat and learning their new names

The Fresno BeeMarch 3, 2014 

Workers at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo still are trying to get the names straight of the four Malayan tiger cubs. There's Berani and Cinta, both males, and Arya and Batari, both females.

Born on Jan. 5, the cubs received their names last week, after public votes were conducted by the zoo and The Bee. Each name means something in the Malay language. Berani, for example, means "courage" or "brave."

Zoo workers keep track of who is who by looking at distinguishing marks on the cubs' tails: Berani is the cub with the dot; Cinta has the letter "v;" Arya has a line running opposite her stripes; and Batari has a horseshoe.

The cubs recently started eating meat. On Wednesday, they were given a mixture of beef. Only Cinta backed off.

Workers want the cubs to become familiar with their names, so that later they will respond to them. Their mom goes by Mek, shortened from Mek Degong.

"The shorter the sound, it's easier," says Lyn Meyers, the zoo's assistant curator. "It's clearer for them."

The zoo's list of names for public vote all were cleared through the Species Survival Program, which has a registry of names.



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

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