The stripey trio were born to mum, ‘Milla’ on 21 May in the privacy of a behind the scenes den. Now the youngsters are fully vaccinated it is safe for them to venture out into their paddock.
The cubs are currently making brief visits to the outside area while they adapt to their new surroundings and we expect them to get braver as the days go on.
Marc Fox, team leader of carnivores said: “We are over the moon that Milla has successfully given birth to three cubs. As it’s 12 years since we had tiger cubs this is particularly great news for Marwell.
“The cubs are slowly finding their feet under her watchful eye. As they continue to grow, so will their confidence. I’m sure they’ll be bounding around their enclosure in no time!”
We can now reveal that there are two female cubs and one male cub. Keepers will be choosing names for two of the cubs and the public will have a chance to name one in a competition to be launched next week but you can adopt them now.
Dad, ‘Bagai’ currently lives next door to Milla andthe cubs and he also caught his first glimpse of the new arrivals today (Tuesday 26 July) . Once they have settled in to their new surroundings keepers will think about housing the family together.
This is Milla and Bagai’s first litter together. Both tigers are part of an important European Endangered species breeding Programme (EEP) which maintains a healthy captive population of tigers and preserves critical genetic diversity for the future.
In the 1940s, the Amur tiger was close to extinction with an estimated population of fewer than 30 individuals remaining in the wild. Decades of turmoil in Russia and formation of the former Soviet Union reportedly contributed to failures to stem uncontrolled persecution.
In 1947 the Soviet Union became the first country to introduce legislation that imposed protection, including banning hunting of tigers. Hunting of the tiger’s main prey species, boar and deer were also limited at this time.
Today, the Amur tiger has full priority species protection in both countries in which it occurs, Russia and China. The population is now estimated to be 360 individuals. However, poaching is still a threat to the species.