Sumatran tiger cubs' first swim
Before they’ll be permitted to bask in the glow of an adoring public, the National Zoo’s two Sumatran tiger cubs had to prove they weren’t going to accidentally drown in front of everyone. So on Wednesday, keepers tossed them into their exhibit’s moat:
“Tigers are one of the few species of cats that enjoy taking a dip in water,” assures Craig Saffoe, the zoo’s curator of Great Cats. The moat, 9 feet at its deepest, was put in place to help protect visitors, but is seen as a hazard for the young animals.
Sumatran tigers are considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature; fewer than 500 are estimated to exist in the wild. The male and female cubs, Bandar and Sukacita, were the first litter born to the zoo since 2006. Fortunately, they seem to have this swimming thing down.
Check out photos from the swim, courtesy of the National Zoo:
Lindsay Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email firstname.lastname@example.org.More Lindsay Abrams.
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)