Endangered tiger cubs take first steps at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo
- Credit: Archant
New born endangered tiger cubs have just taken their first steps outside at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
The four Amur cubs, who were born four weeks ago at the Hertfordshire zoo, ventured into the summer sun after mum Naya spent several days carrying them around in her mouth to familiarise them with the enclosure.
It has happened just in time for International Tiger Day on Sunday, July 29.
Team leader Donovan Glyn said: “Seeing all four of these endangered tiger cubs out and about, playing in the grass together, is the perfect way for us to begin the summer here at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.
“They are just as energetic and playful as one month old kittens would be, and we can’t wait to watch them learn and grow under their mum and dad’s watchful eyes over the next few months.”
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He described Naya as “patient” and “dedicated”.
The cubs were born about four months after seven-year-old Naya arrived at Whipsnade and was introduced to dad Botzman.
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Their mating was orchestrated as part of the European Endangered Species breeding Programme which works with zoos across the continent.
Amur tigers are classified as endangered by the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species and there are only 500 of them left in the wild.
Donovan added: “It’s great news for the breeding programme, and we know our visitors will be thrilled to see them for themselves and learn more about the importance of protecting endangered species like these.”