Giving birth is one of the most miraculous experiences of human life. As the very process that brings forth a new life, there aren't many experiences that are as special. Giving birth is a connection that humans share closely with the rest of the animal kingdom. Every species has their own unique process and special challenges that make each birth different.
Tigers are an especially unique case that most humans don't know about. The only people that have access to this kind of experience are conservationists, wildlife advocates and zookeepers. Fortunately, a recent video was released showing a massive tiger giving birth to two cubs. The video ended up going viral, allowing everyone in the world to see this miraculous process.
Workers at the Australian Zoo were monitoring the birthing process of two tiger cubs very closely. A Sumatran tiger named Kaitlyn can be seen in the video preparing and giving birth to two male cubs. The zoo's staff was watching intently to make sure everything went successfully. Although Kaitlyn has her maternal instincts, it is possible for something to go wrong from time to time.
In the video, the entire zoo staff can be seen anxiously awaiting the arrival of the first baby. After some squirming and looks of pain, Kaitlyn passed the first tiny baby cub. Tiger babies are born with a film around their body that helps facilitate an easy release from the mother's womb. The mother must immediately remove this film by licking her cub in order for it to breath properly.
After hearing her cub attempt to inhale, Kaitlyn began licking her cub instinctively. The entire zoo staff became increasingly alarmed as Kaitlyn continued to lick the body of the cub instead of his mouth. Some zoo staff considered whether they should intervene or not, but they decided to give the mother tiger more time. Thankfully, Kaitlyn was eventually able to get her first child breathing perfectly.
The entire zoo staff let out a sigh of relief as the tiny cubs started making his first noises. After more licking, Kaitlyn rolled onto her side in exhaustion. She wasn't finished with the process yet. Another male cub was on his way. The second cub was much easier than the first. In fact, the zoo staff saw the cub kicking his legs before being completely out of his mother's womb. They knew he would be an energetic tiger. Within seconds, the second cub was breathing perfectly. He started to cry and Kaitlyn immediately began to clean him with her tongue. The entire zoo staff celebrated once the birthing process was completed. Kaitlyn was congratulated and pet by one of the members of staff.
These two births represent an important step in the conservation effort for these tigers. The Sumatran tiger has been labeled as critically endangered as their remaining numbers are estimated to hover around 400 to 600. While two more cubs may not seem like a lot, any additional Sumatran tigers is significant to the conservation of the overall population.