Tiger cubs pass swimming test at National Zoo

Nov. 8, 2013 at 12:47 PM
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- The Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington said a pair of Sumatran tiger cubs have passed their swimming test and are ready to be on exhibit.

The zoo said male cub Bandar and female cub Sukacita -- who were born Aug. 5to mother Damai -- passed their swimming reliability test Wednesday and are now able to move into the Great Cats exhibit with their mom.

"Tigers are one of the few species of cats that enjoy taking a dip in water," said Craig Saffoe, curator of the Great Cats exhibit. "The moat exists for the safety of our visitors, but it could present an obstacle for young cats. Our job is to make sure that if the cubs venture into the moat, they know how and where to get out. These cubs represent hope for their critically endangered species' future, so we need to take every precaution to ensure their survival."

The cubs, the first born to be at the zoo since 2006, will start spending time in the publicly-viewable yard Nov. 18, with zookeepers deciding when they will be out on a day-to-day basis.

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