Tiger cubs born at Dade City Wild Things zoo in midst of severe weather

By Cait McVey, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, March 25, 2013

The Dade City Wild Things zoo took a hit from high winds that accompanied Sunday's severe weather in Pasco County.

Sunday night, staffers had to secure power lines and then secure Florida panther Mariah until daylight. A path had to be cleared to move her out. Also, the pen used by Cornelius, the "mystery monkey of Tampa Bay," has to be repaired.

"It's quite overwhelming, the damage throughout the zoo," director Kathy Stearns said in an email. "You can see (in photos) the line of twisted trees that have broken off or come down."

"You could actually feel the temperature change. It actually started hailing," said head trainer Randy Stearns.

But some good came out of the storm- the zoo is celebrating the births of two tiger cubs. They were born right in the middle of the severe weather.

Zoo officials say they haven't named the little guys yet but when they do, the names will be storm-related.

Altogether, trainers tell us the storm left behind at least $30,000 in damages.  

If you would like to volunteer or make a donation to help with the cleanup, just give Dade City's Wild Things a call.  For that information, head to http://www.dadecityswildthings.com/.