A pair of Amur Tiger cubs, born on May 29, are taking their first steps at the Highland Wildlife Park in Scotland. Though the cubs are mother Dominika's first litter, she has taken well to being a mother. She has been grooming the cubs and keeping a watchful eye on them as they explore their surroundings. Their father, four year-old Marty, is gradually being introduced to the pair through the wire mesh doors. Keepers are confident that he will not present a risk to the cubs.
The month-old cubs represent a significant birth for the Park. Una Richardson, Head Keeper at the Highland Wildlife Park, comments: "We could not be more delighted that our female Amur Tiger Dominika has given birth to two beautiful cubs. Every animal birth is special, but perhaps none more so than an Amur Tiger birth. Extremely endangered, at one point it was thought only 50 of these big cats still existed in the wild. What makes the birth extra special for us is that Dominika was actually born here at the Highland Wildlife Park in May 2009."
Dominika and Marty were paired through a recommendation by the European Zoo Association's Amur Tiger breeding program. Amur Tigers are Endangered, with only 350-450 individuals remaining in the wild. While the wild population is possibly stable, the species continues to be threatened by poaching and habitat destruction.