Adelaide Zoo

Mum’s the word for Delilah in Year of the Tiger!

Staff and volunteers at Adelaide Zoo are crossing their paws for the safe arrival of Sumatran Tiger cubs in the Lunar Year of the Tiger!

Life Sciences staff at the zoo today announced that six-year-old Delilah is expecting cubs, due at the end of December 2022 or early January 2023.

“Keeper observations and the fact that she has put on 7kg show that Delilah is expecting, with a due date around the end of December 2022,” said Zoos SA CE, Elaine Bensted.

“The birth of any Sumatran Tiger is significant as they are critically endangered with less than 400 left in the wild.

“Habitat destruction has led the tiger to sometimes need to walk up to 28km to find prey, crossing paths with other tigers and exposing them to poachers. The growth of unsustainable palm oil plantations and other oil-producing plants has seen vast areas of forests destroyed.

“The need for Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) is the best solution for this and other Sumatran species. CSPO prevents any further plantation growth and destruction of the land.

“Choosing alternatives to palm oil is not the solution; instead it creates new problems and more destruction. It’s so easy to say palm oil is bad and to avoid it at all costs but that’s not the answer.

“We hope that the arrival of cubs will give us the chance to open up the conversation about CSPO and how we can all shop with a purpose – of saving critically-endangered animals.

“While the news is extremely exciting, we must be practical. With any pregnancy comes risks and even more so for a first-time mum. The fact that Delilah is pregnant is a fantastic achievement. She arrived here from Australia Zoo at the very end of 2021 as part of a breeding program to save the species.

“Keeping staff have worked tirelessly to safely introduce her to male, Kembali (8). The two tigers are well suited with both almost immediately calling to each other. Now, it’s time to watch and wait and keep our paws crossed.” finished Elaine.

The cubs will be the first-ever Sumatran Tigers born at Adelaide Zoo.

Five facts about Sumatran Tigers 

  1. They are the smallest of the tiger species
  2. Their stripes are close together for camouflage in Sumatran forests
  3. In the wild, the Sumatran Tiger hunts at night and feeds on deer, wild boar, cattle, monkeys, birds and fish
  4. Sumatran Tigers are solitary animals apart from during courtship
  5. Using Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO) is one of the best ways to protect the Sumatran Tiger.

For more information about Adelaide Zoo and Zoos SA’s conservation work go to

Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Safari Park’s school holiday program All about Africa, begins on 17 December 2022 and features Louis the lemur. Click here for information.