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Critically endangered tiger cubs make first outing at London Zoo - pictures

10:31 28 March 2014

(Picture: ZSL London Zoo)

(Picture: ZSL London Zoo)

Brian Jordan

Three extremely rare and critically endangered tiger cubs have made their first appearance in public at ZSL London Zoo.

The as-yet unsexed and therefore unnamed Sumatran tigers showed their faces on Wednesday when they ventured out into their purpose-built Tiger Territory enclosure at the Regent’s Park attraction.

Five-year-old tigress Melati gave birth to the cubs in February following a 106-day pregnancy. Zookeepers captured the cubs’ first moments on hidden cameras.

Click here to see pictures of the cubs

Last October, a two-week-old cub born to Melati drowned in the enclosure’s pool. The incident sparked criticism of the zoo from animal rights activists but a report by Westminster council into the death found it was “unpreventable”.

Of the new cubs’ first outing, Zookeeper Tracey Lee said: “We were watching the cubs on the hidden cameras in their dens, when it looked like they were about to follow Melati outside – we all rushed to the exhibit and were just thrilled to catch them playing outside for the first time.

“We got a real glimpse of their different personalities, as two of the cubs confidently bounded outside while the other one hung back a little and needed a bit more encouragement from mum.”

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