A trio of tiny Sumatran Tiger cubs has made their first public appearance at Chester Zoo.
The four-week-old Tiger triplets were born on January 2nd but have just started to emerge from their den, as their proud mother starts to show them off.
The cubs are the off-spring of eight-year-old ‘Kirana’ and seven-year-old dad ‘Fabi’.
There are believed to be just 300-400 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild, as they are often targeted by poachers who use their body parts as traditional medicine and much of their jungle habitat has been destroyed.
Curator of mammals, Tim Rowlands, said, “Sumatran Tigers are one of the rarest big cat species in the world. That’s what makes our new Tiger trio so incredibly special; they’re a rare boost to an animal that’s critically endangered.
“It’s still early days but Kirana is an experienced mum, and she’s keeping her cubs very well protected. She’s doing everything we would hope at this stage.”
Sumatran Tigers are found only on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra. They are the smallest of all Tigers and also have the narrowest stripes.
Mr. Rowlands added, “The arrival of this latest trio of cubs is vital to the ongoing survival of the species and the back-up population found in zoos. They are now part of a safety-net against the population in the wild becoming extinct which, to me, is incredibly humbling.”
It will be several weeks until keepers can discover the sexes of the Tiger triplets and a decision can be made on their names.
More amazing pics, below the fold!