Your morning adorable: Birth of rare Sumatran tiger cub surprises keepers at the Frankfurt Zoo
At Germany's Frankfurt Zoo, there was both great celebration and great surprise last month when a female Sumatran tiger named Malea gave birth despite the fact that zoo staff believed her to be infertile. "It looks like the last [fertility] treatment was a success," zoo director Manfred Niekisch told Agence France-Presse. "It is not that unusual that a pregnancy goes undetected in a big cat."
Sadly, only one of Malea's twin cubs, a female keepers named Daseep, survived, and Malea rejected her. Zoo staff have been raising Daseep by hand, although they plan to introduce her later this month to an Amur tiger cub at another German zoo who was also rejected by her mother. "This is important so that both tigers can get on with others belonging to their own kind in the future and hopefully start a family of their own," Niekisch told AFP.
Sumatran tigers are endangered in the wild; only about 400 are believed to remain in their native habitat. Prior to Daseep, the Frankfurt Zoo hadn't had a successful Sumatran tiger birth in 26 years.
See more photos of the cub after the jump!
-- Lindsay Barnett
1st-4th photos: AFP/Getty Images
5th-6th photos: European Pressphoto Agency
7th-9th photos: Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters