Well, the cubs have officially seen us and also acknowledged us.
They have been venturing into the outside area of their holding room a lot more during the past few days. We (the keepers) sit quietly and observe. Toma is very familiar with us and doesn’t mind that we are watching. Her calm and ease must be felt by the cubs. They look at us but don’t really pay much attention. If Toma walks away, then their confidence level quickly drops and we may be greeted with a quiet hiss. One of the cubs came over to the water dish today and took a few sips. That’s the first time we had seen this! There is lots of development going on now.
We are now able to see differences in their stripe patterns enough to tell them apart. The biggest cub has a calligraphy style “W” over the left eye. It appears be a male. The second cub has a heart shaped stripe over each eye, and the third cub has a checkmark-style stripe (similar to the Nike logo) over the right eye.