Tiger cubs celebrate 1st birthday at SA zoo

Sumatran tigers endangered in the wild

SAN ANTONIO – Two Sumatran tiger cubs celebrated their first birthday Friday at the San Antonio Zoo. 

The two girls, "Diana" and "Ja'Malle," each weigh about 100 pounds. 

Trainers gave the cubs some special treats on their big day.

Also on hand for the celebration were mom, "Kemala" and dad, "Raguno."

Officials at the zoo said they are also celebrating an important milestone for tiger species preservation.

"Sumatran tigers are a very endangered tiger in the wild. There are very few in the wild, the majority are in captivity right now. So the more we can breed the tigers and keep the genetics diversified, the better it is for the long run," said Melannie Lough, with the zoo.

There are fewer than 4,000 tigers in the wild, partly due to habitat loss and poaching.

Of these, only 500 are of the Sumatran variety.

The San Antonio Zoo works with the Tiger Species Survival Plan to create a healthy captive tiger population.