It’s a girl - and two boys - for London Zoo’s endangered tiger mum
PUBLISHED: 06:00 17 April 2014 | UPDATED: 07:32 17 April 2014
Keepers have braved sharp claws and feisty personalities to discover the gender of London Zoo’s adorable tiger triplets - today revealing mum Melati has two boys and a girl.
London Zoo announced the 10-week-old cubs sex on Thursday, having rounded the little ones up for their first ever health check earlier this week.
But the endeavour wasn’t as easy as it seems - tiger keepers Paul Kybett and Teague Stubbington had to first separate rare Sumatran tiger Melati from her brood before the vets could begin their important task, and were then in charge of rounding up the cubs.
Mr Kybett revealed: “While I was so excited to see the cubs, I can’t say they were thrilled to see us - but it was actually a really good thing to see them wriggling and hissing at us, they were showing off a perfectly natural behaviour.”
Chief vet Nic Masters then gave each cub a once-over, with the first step being the sexing before he set about examining their tiny stomachs, paws and ears and declared them all fit and healthy.
The tiger cubs are not just a cute addition to the Regent’s Park zoo, but an important part of a wider breeding programme for their endangered species.
Each has now been micro-chipped, and their details will be added to the world wide conservation breeding programme for Sumatran tigers – which one day they will play a vital role in.
For now, though, attention will be on the names of the cubs - with London Zoo getting ready to run a competition with Channel 5’s Milkshake programme, with the winner helping to choose names for the tiny tigers.