UK & World News

  • 13 March 2014, 11:44

London Zoo Celebrates Birth Of Rare Tiger Cubs

London Zoo is celebrating the birth of three Sumatran tiger cubs.

Melati gave birth six months after the death of her last baby, following a pregnancy lasting 106 days.

The cubs were born within an hour of each other and the entire event was caught on remote-controlled cameras.

The triplets, whose sex is not yet known, and their mother are still in a special "cubbing den" enclosure, where Melati stays close except when she leaves her babies to get food.

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.

"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."

The cubs are welcome arrivals at the zoo, where keepers were left distraught less than six months ago after the death of the attraction's first Sumatran tiger cub in 17 years.

The cub was found drowned on the edge of the pool inside the tigers' enclosure, two weeks after its birth in October.

Sumatran tigers are a rare species with only about 300 believed to be still in the wild, down from 1,000 in the 1970s.

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