Endangered tiger cub gets playmate in San Diego

An endangered tiger cub at the San Diego Zoo has a new playmate. And, as Nathan Frandino reports, the two cubs are hitting it off.VIDEO: REUTERS

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (REUTERS) - It is playtime at the San Diego Zoo, where an endangered Bengal tiger cub is welcoming a Sumatran cub. The zoo's newest animal is freshly arrived from Washington, DC's National Zoo.

Mr Andy Blue, the zoo's associate curator of mammals, says: "Instantly they bonded, you could see them playing, getting along well, it's the best thing for both of them to be together."

The Sumatran tiger cub was separated from his mother in D.C. after she stopped producing enough milk and became aggressive toward him. So zoo officials decided to put the two cubs together.

Says Mr Blue: "They're very similar in age, so they're both on similar bottle schedules and they're also now slowly starting to eat meat, so once they get to the point where they're completely weaned off of milk, entirely eating meat, then we'll make decisions as far as where to move them."

Like all tiger sub-species, the Bengal and Sumatran are at great risk in the wild. Their numbers have shrunk dramatically, mainly because of poaching and habitat loss.

But zoo officials say here at least, these two have a good chance of survival.