Posted: Fri 23rd Jan 2015

First moments of 3 rare Sumatran tiger cubs caught on hidden camera at Chester Zoo

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jan 23rd, 2015

Chester Zoo’s hidden cameras have captured some of the first moments of three rare tiger cubs.

The tigers were born to eight-year-old Sumatran tigress Kirana on Jan 2 after a 105-day pregnancy.

Curator of mammals at Chester Zoo, Tim Rowlands, said:

We’re thrilled to kick off 2015 with these special arrivals. These tiny triplets who, in June, will move to a brand new home in our Islands zone, are now part of a safety-net against the population in the wild becoming extinct. That to me is incredibly humbling.

The sexes of the cubs will not be known for some time and zoo staff are continuing to keep a close eye on the family.

Mr Rowlands added:

We had Kirana’s due date down as Friday Jan 2 and, true to what we thought, she had her cubs in the early hours of that morning. We were first alerted to them when we heard tiny squeaks coming from their den. Initially we weren’t sure of how many she had had – we just kept seeing flashes of tiny balls of fluff – but we’ve since spotted that there are three.

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 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.

tiger-cub-520-01

Kirana with a new cub in 2011

Sumatran tigers are found only on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and are the smallest of all tigers.

With numbers in the wild believed to be as few as just 300-400, Sumatran tigers are classed by conservationists as critically endangered.

They are targeted by poachers who use their body parts as traditional medicine and much of their jungle habitat has been destroyed.

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