The San Francisco Zoo announced today that Leanne, the 230-pound Sumatran tiger, is now caring for three newborn cubs. The SF Zoo, which came under scrutiny after last year's tiger-related mauling death of 17-year-old Carlos Sousa Jr., says that this is the first birth of Sumatran tiger for the zoo since 1956. It turns out Leanne had three of the cubs over a week ago, but kept them accidentally hidden from view of zoo cameras. According to the chief of veterinary services at the San Francisco Zoo Jacqueline Jencek:
Leanne has been excellent at tending to her litter and she has managed to keep them hidden from our camera, which had made it difficult for us to determine how many cubs really were in the nest box....[i]n addition, she managed to lick the camera lens at one point, slightly blurring our view.
Adorable, people. Just adorable.
The newborns will not be on exhibition until they gain strength and coordination, which should be about "several months" from now. The father, George, lives in the now infamous cat tiger grotto.