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First Sumatran tiger born at London Zoo in 17 years

ZSL London Zoo captured their Sumatran tiger Melati giving birth to the zoo's first cub in 17 years.
By VERONICA LINARES, UPI.com   |   Oct. 3, 2013 at 8:53 AM  |  Updated Oct. 3, 2013 at 9:41 AM   |   Comments

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Oct. 3 (UPI) -- ZSL London Zoo announced the birth of its first tiger cub in 17 years Sunday.

Sumatran tiger Melati, gave birth to a single cub at 9:22 p.m. on September 22, the zoo announced in a statement.

Zookepers kept Melati's pregnancy under wraps for 105 days in order to monitor her through hidden cameras. These same cameras recorded the birth of the cub, which lasted a short six minutes.

“We were nervous about the pregnancy, as it was Melati’s first cub and we didn’t know how she’d react. When it came to her due date, we were all watching our monitors with bated breath," said Zookeeper Paul Kybett.

“The actual birth happened very quickly and Melati’s maternal instincts kicked in immediately, as she started licking the cub all over and it soon began wriggling around - we couldn’t have asked for a smoother birth!" he added.

The zoo's last cub was Melati's father, Hari.

Melati and the cub will remain off-show for a few more weeks, until the new mom is read to show him or her (the cub's sex is still unknown) to the world.

Zoo visitors can still see the cub's father, Jae Jae in the zoo's Tiger Territory 2,500sqm enclosure.

You can watch the clip of the cub's birth below.

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