Ohio

Cincinnati Zoo staff caring for 3 newborn Malayan tiger cubs

  • This Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden shows three newborn Malayan tiger cubs being kept warm in the zoo's nursery in Cincinnati. A Malayan tiger named Cinta gave birth to the cubs Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, and zoo officials say that because the first-time mother's maternal instincts didn't kick in, employees in the zoo's nursery will keep the cubs warm and feed them before they are placed in an outdoor habitat in the early spring. (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden via AP)

    This Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden shows three newborn Malayan tiger cubs being kept warm in the zoo's nursery in Cincinnati. A Malayan tiger named Cinta gave birth to the cubs Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, and zoo officials say that because the first-time mother's maternal instincts didn't kick in, employees in the zoo's nursery will keep the cubs warm and feed them before they are placed in an outdoor habitat in the early spring. (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • This Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden shows head nursery keeper Dawn Strasser feeding a bottle to a newborn Malayan tiger cub in the zoo's nursery in Cincinnati. A Malayan tiger named Cinta gave birth to three cubs Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, and zoo officials say that because the first-time mother's maternal instincts didn't kick in, employees in the zoo's nursery will keep the cubs warm and feed them before they are placed in an outdoor habitat in the early spring. (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden via AP)

    This Monday, Feb. 6, 2017, photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden shows head nursery keeper Dawn Strasser feeding a bottle to a newborn Malayan tiger cub in the zoo's nursery in Cincinnati. A Malayan tiger named Cinta gave birth to three cubs Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, and zoo officials say that because the first-time mother's maternal instincts didn't kick in, employees in the zoo's nursery will keep the cubs warm and feed them before they are placed in an outdoor habitat in the early spring. (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • This Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden shows keeper Amanda Weisel holding a newborn Malayan tiger cub in the zoo's nursery in Cincinnati. A Malayan tiger named Cinta gave birth to three cubs Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, and zoo officials say that because the first-time mother's maternal instincts didn't kick in, employees in the zoo's nursery will keep the cubs warm and feed them before they are placed in an outdoor habitat in the early spring. (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden via AP)

    This Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, photo provided by the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden shows keeper Amanda Weisel holding a newborn Malayan tiger cub in the zoo's nursery in Cincinnati. A Malayan tiger named Cinta gave birth to three cubs Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, and zoo officials say that because the first-time mother's maternal instincts didn't kick in, employees in the zoo's nursery will keep the cubs warm and feed them before they are placed in an outdoor habitat in the early spring. (Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Three Malayan tiger cubs are being cared for in the Cincinnati Zoo's nursery.

The zoo says the first-time mother's maternal instincts didn't kick in, raising the threat to the cubs that their body temperatures would get too low without their mother's warmth. The zoo says nursery staffers are keeping them warm and feeding them .

Mammals curator Mike Dulaney says such reactions aren't uncommon for first-time tiger mothers, and that they can be aggressive and harm their cubs.

The zoo expects the cubs to be playing in their outdoor habitat by early spring.

Zoo officials hope the endangered Malayan tiger babies someday will contribute much-needed genetic diversity for species survival efforts.

Zoo staffers are also caring for a baby hippo born six weeks early on Jan. 24.