The miracle of birth happens everyday, but this one in particular was pretty special. This tiger, who had been in labor for a few hours was getting ready to give birth to her first cubs, but not to just one cub: but twins. The pregnant tiger, named Katelin, was located at an Australian zoo where she was bred in captivity. This is the first time she had been pregnant and the staff was unsure of how things were going to go. Around 4 o’clock in the afternoon she had entered the advanced stages of labor and started having contractions and getting restless. The zoo staff readied themselves for what was to come, crowding a small TV in a room outside of the tigers enclosure.
She had been in labor for 5 hours as the staff watched nervously to see if her motherly instincts would kick in.
This mama tiger did an amazing job at delivering the baby cubs. It’s clear from the video when her contractions started, and that she was ready to deliver. The staff was nervous as they watched on from a TV in another room. There was also a caretaker with Katelin near her enclosure that kept a closer eye on things, and reported back to his team by walkie talkie. From the looks of the first cub the big cat delivered, they were worried and considered intervening to make sure that the cub made it.
Two minutes after birth the cub was still not breathing properly.
The little limp body laid there, gasping for breath as mom licked him in hopes that it would wake up his instincts on how to breath properly. The anxious team looked on as the little cub slowly came to, and before they knew it he was breathing and even making sounds while mom laid back down with him. As they watched and counted the cubs breaths he became more and more stable, relaxing everyone that looked on. Now it was just a waiting game for the next one.
Just a few minutes later you could see that the tiger was having contractions again, and it was time for baby number two. The whole staff watching on the TV in the other room applauded when cub number two made his appearance. This little guy came more easily and was already moving around and struggling as he came out. There was no doubt that this was going to be a healthy cat. Mom cleaned him up as well and got back to resting.
She was so comfortable with staff and proud of herself that after the birth of her cubs, the staff member monitoring her closely was able to pet her and congratulate her on her healthy babies. Considering how protective big cats and new moms can be of their young, this was surprising on her part, but an incredible experience for the staff. The caretakers will continue to stay close and monitor the newborns to make sure their growth stays on track and that mama is doing her job.
The staff kept a very close eye on the mother and her brand new twins.
Though they didn’t have their eyes open, its clear that with the help of their proud mom and the watchful eye of the caretakers, these new cubs will have no problem growing and adjusting to their new home at the zoo.
Watch her amazing birth below, what an incredible mother!
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