Mother Tiger Gives Birth, But Nobody Was Prepared For What They Found Under Her Legs

Tigers are one of nature’s greatest achievements. These big, beautiful cats mainly stalk the wilds of India and Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, they’re a threatened species, mainly because Tiger habitat has shrunk a lot in the last 150 years. Tigers have a fearsome reputation but as you can see in the video we’ve posted below, they are capable of great tenderness.

The beginning of life is a beautiful and amazing event. BBC Earth has incredible footage of a mother tiger giving birth for the first time. Giles Clark, a tiger expert and Head of Big Cats at Australia Zoo stationed himself nearby so he could help out if necessary. Brave man!

Maternal instincts are a powerful thing: mom starts licking the first cub right after it’s born. The stimulation from the licking should cause the cub to take its first breaths. But after two minutes, the cub has only gasped a few times. It’s very hard for Clark to resist the urge to step in and help. But mom keeps at it and soon enough, the cub is breathing and even making its first sounds. Zoo staff watching via closed-circuit TV clap and cheer.

So far so, so good. As more contractions kick in, mom tiger looks right at the camera with a face that says, “Uh oh, here comes another.” Cub number two emerges alive and literally kicking! Afterward, this gentle mother of two even lets Giles pet her on the head and stroke her on the side of her jaw: kind of like a house cat, but a whole lot bigger! We’re glad to report that mom and both her cubs are happy and healthy.

Are you wild about this tiger’s love for her cubs? Let us know in the Facebook comments. Be sure to like and share so your friends get to see this life-affirming video.