A litter of three endangered Amur tiger cubs has been born at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s (RZSS) Highland Wildlife Park.
Staff at the wildlife conservation charity say the one-week-old cubs, born on Tuesday 18 May, are doing well so far but they remain cautious at this early stage.
While the tiny triplets are being nursed by mum Dominika away from public view, visitors to the park can still spot dad Botzman who will be gradually introduced to the cubs as they grow older.
Vickie Larkin, carnivore team leader at Highland Wildlife Park said, “We are really excited about our new arrivals but the first few weeks of a cub’s life are crucial, so we are keeping public viewing closed for now to give Dominika and the youngsters lots of peace and quiet.
“The cubs’ eyes will start to open any day now and in the coming weeks they will be weighed and sexed during their first health check and named shortly after. Amur tigers grow quite quickly, increasing almost four times in size within the first month of their life, but they will remain dependent on their mum for at least 15 months. We hope visitors will start to see them out and about towards the end of July.
“Dominika is a very attentive mother and it is beautiful to see her given the chance to display these natural behaviours again.”
As well as being part of the endangered species breeding programme for Amur tigers, with Dominika giving birth to a previous litter in 2013, the charity has supported tiger conservation in Nepal by developing methods to evaluate tiger diets within the RZSS WildGenes laboratory based at Edinburgh Zoo.
Vickie continued, “There are just 500 Amur tigers remaining in the wild, so our adorable cubs represent an important contribution to the future of this endangered species which is at risk of extinction due to extensive habitat loss and poaching.”
Once the cubs are old enough for visitors, one lucky winner and their loved ones could have the chance to feed the tiger family by entering an RZSS prize draw to help raise funds for Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre, a new visitor experience at the park. Entry is just £5 and closes on 31 May, with the prize valid until March 2022 - find out more at crowdfunder.co.uk/NightAtHighlandWildlifePark