Topeka Zoo to welcome new tiger cubs

Here kitty kitty: “Jingga,” A tiger at the Topeka zoo relaxes in her cage. The Sumatran Tiger has been under closer watch since her pregnancy was discovered.

The Topeka Zoo is soon going to welcome a new mammal into their habitat. The Sumatran tiger “Jingga” is expecting at least two cubs as of last Wednesday. The 8-year-old tiger, Jingga, was born at the Sacramento Zoo and was brought to Topeka in 2012, making this her sixth year in Kansas.

According to Zoo director Brendan Wiley, Jingga should have just entered her third trimester.

“In 2014, Jingga gave birth to three tiger cubs who now reside at the Nashville Zoo. Wiley said Jingga then developed Mastitis, an infection in the breast, in her last pregnancy, but continues to go strong,” according to a KSNT online article.

Keeping Jingga safe is a top priority seeing that Sumatran Tigers are becoming an endangered species. There are less than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, according to the world wildlife database.

“It’s one of our most active conservation programs here,” said Wiley in an interview with KSNT. “There’s 400 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild, only 400, and so we’re part of an active program that’s focused not only on building a genetic gene pool within human care but actively working on the ground in Sumatra to make a difference.”

“I think the new tiger cubs will be a great attraction to the Topeka Zoo. It will bring in not only new people but people that have been to the zoo before and now want to see what’s new and how the zoo is changing,” said Allexis Menghini, senior at Washburn University.

Menghini has been to the Topeka Zoo many times and thinks the tiger cubs will be a great addition to the zoo’s environment.“I think it’s good for the development of the zoo as long as they can keep their finances up in order to take care of the animals,” Menghini said.

The Topeka Zoo claims it’s an active supporter of the Sumatran Tiger species survival plan, which has strived to maintain a healthy population of tigers under human care for over 100 years. During the 100 years they have hoped enough of the tigers’ native habitats can be corrected so that it will be safe for tiger populations to begin growing through natural breeding and soon potentially be reintroduced to the wild.

“I think it’s exciting for Topeka to be getting more animals to their zoo and it’ll definitely be good for business, but at the same time it’s kind of sad,” said Natalie Lanman, sophomore at Washburn University.

“I’ve been to the Topeka Zoo and the exhibit is pretty small for the tigers, so I hope there’s enough room for the new family,” Lanman said.

Previously Jingga had three cubs that were all taken to the Nashville zoo, according to a WIBW article. Zookeepers are hoping to keep the cubs in Topeka.

Sumatran Tiger pregnancies typically last about 90-110 days. Jingga is predicted to give birth in mid-October. Be sure to keep an eye out for the new tiger family.