Critically endangered tiger cubs make first outing at London Zoo - pictures
10:31 28 March 2014
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.
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.”