Kira, the Philadelphia Zoo's female Amur tiger, gave birth last night to three cubs. Mother and cubs are resting comfortably, zoo officials said this morning in a news release.
Keepers are monitoring Kira and her new family through cameras in her cubbing den. Female tigers keep their cubs hidden after they're born, and the tiger family will remain off-exhibit for about three months so Kira can care for her cubs in privacy.
Tiger cubs are very dependent on their mothers at birth. They are most vulnerable during their first week or so and often only part of a litter survives. The Zoo is optimistic that some or all of the new babies will thrive since Kira is an experienced mother who already has reared three healthy sets of cubs. The Zoo will post video of the cubs and Kira soon.