People love to watch videos of animals doing cute things like being funny, heroic, or just plain wild. When animals interact with humans we often get to share experiences of love and compassion with them. And how ‘bout those babies?

There’s just something about baby animals that gets us, and makes us get all doughy and cheerful at the same time. Wobbly fawns, yawning lion cubs, or fuzzy ducklings – it doesn’t matter, they’ll have you saying “Awwww”. Well cue it up again, because this time Giles Clark is on post for a tigress giving birth.

BBC Earth’s video has us waiting with baited breath for Kaitlyn to deliver her firstborn. As the video opens, the Sumatran tiger has been in labor for about 5 hours. Sound familiar to any of you? Giles is outside of her enclosure, closely watching over her. A group of staff members at the Australia Zoo are observing through video monitors.

Her contractions get stronger, and she works through them like a champ, even propping herself up against the wall at one point. We first see the amniotic sac emerge, and slowly, a tiger cub! Yay! But wait, Kaitlyn’s licks should be prompting the cub to breathe, but it’s only gasping. Giles and the team are worried but on standby to provide support if needed.

Her motherly instincts keep her going with more licks, and finally the cub is breathing, startling his mom with some loud squeaks. Welcome little one! Go Kaitlyn! Watch the video to find out what else happened after this cub came through, and the gender. Towards the end of the video, you’ll see a magical moment shared between Kaitlyn and Giles. The two are clearly good friends.

Image of tigress and cub.BBC Earth
Besides the obvious excitement of bringing a new life into the world, the birth of a Sumatran tiger is quite an event. They are considered ‘critically endangered’, and estimates on their wild population fall somewhere between 400 and 500. The beautiful beasts originate from the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, where their habitat has been encroached upon.

Sumatran tigers like Kaitlyn have also been the victims of poaching, further dwindling their numbers toward extinction. Some live in captivity like Kaitlyn, some in nature preserves, while others are on their own in the wild. Vets and other staff at the Australia Zoo are understandably elated in the clip below.

This mama made a whole lot of folks proud during her first delivery. Today, Kaitlyn is mom to four adorable cubs and the entire family gets lots of love and attention. Among her team of devoted caretakers is none other than Bindi Irwin!

After seeing the miracle of tiger life up close and personal like this, you might have a newfound appreciation for big cats. Kaitlyn’s background makes the event all the more special and miraculous, as Sumatran tigers need all the help they can get. What are your thoughts on this tiger mom’s tale? Do you feel like celebrating this birth too? Share with us in the comments!