UK conservationists at Chester Zoo are celebrating this month after getting their first glimpse of two new-born tiger cubs. The tiny twins are critically endangered Sumatran tigers and part of an ongoing initiative by the zoo to protect the species from extinction.
The zoo has only just enjoyed its first peep at the new arrivals, who were born to parents Dash and Kasarna in early January, thanks to hidden cameras in the tiger’s habitat. The Chester team have now viewed the first-time parents with their cubs bonding inside the den and engaging in early life activities.
The sex of the cubs has yet to be determined, but in a couple of months when they are bold enough to emerge, the Chester team will discover whether they are male or female and give them names.
Experts estimate that visitors to the Zoo will be able to see the tiger twins as early as the beginning of April when they gain enough confidence to venture beyond their den.
Once the tigers are up and about, zoogoers will be amazed to see them up close, especially due to their endangered status which makes the birth so remarkable.
Only 350 Sumatran tigers remain in wild settings, according to experts, making the subspecies one of the world’s rarest types of tiger. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) list them as “Critically Endangered” making the cubs a significant addition to Chester Zoo’s part in a global breeding programme.