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An 11-year-old Manchurian tiger recently gave birth to quintuplets in a zoo in China’s Heilongjiang Province.

“They are very healthy and their conditions at this stage are stable, says Ma Guoqing, the breeder.

The record number of cubs born at one time was set by another Manchurian tiger in the same zoo. That tiger gave birth to sextuplets in 2009.

The mother was currently only taking care of four of her five cubs, with the fifth one being kept with another female tiger.

“The mother tiger, which just gave birth to five cubs, may not have enough milk to feed them,” Ma Guoqing says. “Therefore we will have to find a surrogate mother to shoulder the excessive responsibility. It is also good for the health of the tiger cubs.

The Manchurian tiger, also known as the Northeast China tiger, is ranked among the top 10 most endangered species in the world. Tigers once roamed huge swathes of China, right up to the east coast. But their population has collapsed due to habitat destruction and poaching for tiger products to use in traditional medicine.

[Source: NTD Television]

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