Three Sumatran tiger cubs were born at the National Zoo on May 24, 2006. The cubs, one male and two females, are the sixth litter of this endangered species ever born at the Zoo and the third litter for 13-year-old tiger Soyono. Soyono was born at the National Zoo and the cubs' father, Rokan, was born at the San Antonio Zoo. The newborn tiger cubs made their public debut on September 2, 2006. They may now be seen at the Great Cats exhibit at the National Zoo.
See pictures of the tiger cubs
The cubs, as of March 2007, weigh between 100 and 124
pounds each. They may double their weight over the next eight months, but for now, they are still considered to be cubs.
A contest was held to help name them and the public voted for their favorites. The male cub was named Guntur, which means thunder in Bahasa Indonesian. The two females were named Melati and Maharani, which mean jasmine and queen.
Sumatran tigers are the smallest of nine tiger subspecies, three of which have already become extinct. As adults, the male cub will weigh about 265 pounds and the females about 200 pounds. Sumatran tigers are endangered; fewer than 500 are believed to exist in the tropical forests of the Indonesian island of Sumatra and 210 of them live in zoos around the world.