This remarkable video, captured by BBC Earth, gives us a rare glimpse into the delicate process of a tigress birthing her two cubs. Kaitlyn is a Sumatran tiger, the most endangered big cat in the world.
As the tigress is about to conceive, she becomes restless, kicking and pressing down on her lower half. British tiger expert Giles Clark, along with members of the Australia Zoo, stands aside at four o’ clock in the afternoon, anxiously watching this tender process unfold.
Immediately after birth, the mother frees her cubs from the umbilical cord and clean them with her tongue. The embryonic sac, umbilical cord,and placenta are all eaten by the tigress. The licking helps activate the Cubs lungs to help them breathe.
Zoo members stressfully watch the first cub, which appears to not be moving. It isn’t strange for a cub to die at birth. Typically, when cubs appear to not move, the mother loses interest in the cub and stops the licking. However, this tigress does not lose hope.
After a long minute, the cub finally begins to budge, breathing heavily as his lungs begin to activate. Then, the second cub restlessly springs out of Kaitlyn’s womb. The mother was right to not have given up hope. This birthing video quickly became viral; most of the viewers left sweet messages.
Content warning: Some of the footage seen in the video may be considered too graphic by some users. Please watch at your own discretion.
Amazing! It’s not every day that you get to see a tiger giving birth, let alone an endangered tiger giving birth to twins. It’s momentous occasion for the species!
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