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WATCH: London Zoo welcomes three newborn tiger cubs to its ranks

04:00 13 March 2014

Melati the Sumatran tiger and her three cubs at London Zoo.

Melati the Sumatran tiger and her three cubs at London Zoo.

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London Zoo has unveiled its latest arrivals – three critically endangered Sumatran tiger cubs.

The as-yet unsexed tiger cubs were born on February 3 to five-year-old Sumatran tigress Melati, following a 106-day pregnancy.

And the zookeepers have captured the cubs’ first moments on hidden cameras.

Zookeeper Teague Stubbington said: “We couldn’t be more delighted with our new arrivals, and with how Melati is responding to her three cubs.

“We’ve been observing them 24/7, and one of us is always on duty to keep an eye on the little ones throughout the night. We’ve even been able to observe key milestones like their eyes opening and their tentative first steps.”

One imagines the zookeepers have kept an extra careful watch on Melati and her triplets in light of the death of Melati’s first cub, which drowned in a pool inside the enclosure last year. The cub was the first tiger born at London Zoo in 17 years.

The zoo kept the latest arrival of the tiger cubs under wraps for a month while new mum Melati relaxed and adjusted to life with her newborns.

“While we still don’t know whether they’re boys or girls, we’re starting to see their personalities develop. We’ve nicknamed one Trouble, as it’s much bolder than the others – it was the first to start exploring its den and we’ve spotted it waking up its siblings when they fall asleep!” said Mr Stubbington.

The zookeepers will reveal footage of the tiger cubs throughout March on the London Zoo YouTube channel.

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