COURTESY HONOLULU ZOO
Three cubs have been born at the Honolulu Zoo to Sumatran tigers Berani, shown here, and Chrissie.
3 tiger cubs are born at Honolulu Zoo
New mama tiger and cubs out of view but doing well
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Chrissie, a female Sumatran tiger, gave birth to three cubs Monday at the Honolulu Zoo, the first litter of tigers at the zoo in more than 25 years.
The cubs' father is Berani, a Sumatran tiger that briefly escaped from his enclosure in February after a zookeeper apparently left it unsecured.
The last time tigers were born at the Honolulu Zoo was on April 27, 1981.
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For the first time in more than 25 years, tiger cubs were born at the Honolulu Zoo.
Chrissie, a Sumatran tiger, gave birth to a litter of three cubs Monday in the tiger exhibit's original holding area. The gender of the cubs is not known at this time.
"She's a good mother," said Sidney Quintal, director of the city Department of Enterprise Services. "She's very attentive. She appears to be nursing well."
Zookeepers monitored Chrissie during her 107-day gestation period. She stopped eating Sunday, a sign that birth was near, Quintal said. Zookeepers brought her to the holding area, where Chrissie gave birth Monday night.
The last time tigers were born at the Honolulu Zoo was on April 27, 1981, to a pair of Bengal-Siberian hybrids, Tex and Marybell. They produced five cubs, but two were stillborn and another died shortly after birth. The remaining cubs - a male and a female - were eventually sent to other zoos.
A zookeeper is monitoring Chrissie and the cubs, which will remain in the holding area and are not visible to the public at this time.
Photos will not be available until officials determine it's safe.
"Tigers are protective of their young and they can cause injury to someone if they get too close," Quintal said.
Chrissie and Berani, the father of the cubs, arrived at the Honolulu Zoo in November 2005 from Fort Wayne Children's Zoo in Indiana.
Berani, a 245-pound Sumatran tiger, briefly escaped from the new tiger exhibit in February after a zookeeper apparently left two gates unsecured before the zoo opened to the public.
The tiger was loose for about five minutes in an area with only a 4-foot fence that he could have jumped over, a short distance away from a playground.
The brief escape prompted the city to construct an extended enclosure from the new tiger exhibit to the holding area. The new tiger exhibit was built in the hope that the pair would breed again.
The pair is part of a breeding program designed to increase genetic variability in the captive population, city officials said. In April 2004, they produced a litter of three cubs - two males and a female - at the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo.
The cubs born Monday will not be named for several weeks.