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Tiger Gives Birth During Show

April 7, 1987

CINCINNATI (AP) _ Circus fans got more than they expected when a tiger gave birth during a Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus show.

A tiger standing on a stool in the ring Sunday gave birth as the performances began at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Coliseum.

Spectators saw the tiny cub dangling on the umbilical cord. When the trainer saw what had happened, he quickly moved the tigers to their cages. The trainer picked up the cub, which had fallen free of the mother, between two handfuls of hay and placed it in the mother’s cage. Then the next act began.

Pregnancy is difficult to detect in a big cat, which might weigh 400 pounds compared with a cub of less than a pound, said Barry Wakeman, curator for education at the Cincinnati Zoo. Tigers normally give birth easily, quickly and with little pain, he said.

The circus now is on the road, headed for Rochester, N.Y.

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