Endangered tiger cubs born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
- Credit: Archant
Four endangered tiger cubs have been born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
Keepers captured the Amur tiger babies’ first moments on hidden cameras in the birthing den, after waiting three and a half months through mum Naya’s pregnancy.
The first cub was born at 7.25am on June 23 and the other three came within the next five hours.
Team leader Donovan Glyn said: “It’s incredible news for us to have endangered Amur tiger cubs born here at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, but to have four of them is just amazing, especially when you consider there are only 500 left in the wild.”
Naya has as yet only occasionally ventured away from her babies to have a drink.
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She is seven years old and met dad Botzman in February when she was brought to the zoo.
Donovan continued: “Having cameras in her den is allowing us to keep a close eye on how they’re all getting on 24/7, and it’s also letting us share in the magic of them taking their first steps.
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“Naya is very attentive, cleaning the cubs regularly and letting them suckle whenever they want to. She has also stayed very calm and relaxed throughout, even when dad Botzman went in to see what was going on.
“He seemed to take one look at the first cub and decide to give them some space.”
Amur tigers (panthera tigris altaica) are classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.
There are now an estimated 500 Amur tigers left in the wild, ten times the number which existed in the 1940s.