Jacksonville Zoo debuts tiger cubs

Rocky, Jaggar greeted by excited crowd

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A pair of Sumatran tiger cubs named Rocky and Jaggar made their public debut Saturday at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

About 75 people lined up before the zoo opened, each excited to see the cubs pounce and play.

Since being born in November, the pair have spent the last 11 weeks nursing with their mother Dorcas. Zoo officials said that they have grown from 4.5 pounds at birth to over 20 pounds each now. At less than 3 months old, they do still get tired out easily and will need to spend quality time with mom, nursing and resting.

The pair will be added to the Land of the Tigers exhibit. 

Standing alone, the cubs might not look like babies, but next to mom, they’re pretty small. 

Pretty much everyone News4Jax spoke with had the same reaction after seeing the cubs in action.

“They’re super-cute,” Alison Lechtrecker said. “I love them.”

Below is video of the cubs nursing with their mother.

The tiger cubs rumbling and tumbling across their new home. Curious and clumsy, Rocky and Jaggar were a little bit of both.

 “They’re adorable,” Marijean Lechtrecker said. “We are so happy to come and see them. You know any baby animal (is) always fun to come see.”

Ellen Deeks came out early, making sure to capture every moment.

“I love tigers in particular,” Deeks said. “Sometimes I’ll come out here by myself and just be in this exhibit for like three or four hours at a time. I just love tigers.”

Since the cubs are still so young, viewing hours might be limited. Zoo staff is keeping a close eye on how they adapt to their new environment.

The zoo is offering a Valentine’s Day coupon on its website. Admission is buy one, get one free, Feb. 10-14. 

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