Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Rare tiger cubs make public debut at London Zoo

Three of the world's rarest tiger cubs have ventured outside for the first time at London Zoo.

The seven-week-old cubs explored the outdoor paddock of their home in the Zoo's Tiger Territory this week.

The cubs, who will not be named until staff know whether they are boys or girls, were observed by their mother Melati as they played.

The tiger cubs have ventured outside for the first time. Credit: Zoological Society of London

Two of the cubs confidently shot outside where one attempted to clib a fallen tree trunk but the remaining one "needed a bit more encouragement from mum", staff said.

Melati washes, feeds and plays with the cubs. Credit: Zoological Society of London

Staff said the cubs have given their mother Melati, who spends hours caring, feeding and playing with the cubs, "the best Mothers' Day treat of a few minutes peace".

Their father Jae Jae watches from a separate paddock. Credit: Zoological Society of London
The incredibly rare Sumatran Tigers were born earlier this year. Credit: Zoological Society of London

Zookeepers said they were "thrilled" to see the trio playing outside for the first time.

"We were watching the cubs on the hidden cameras in their dens, when it looked like they were about to follow Melati outside – we all rushed to the exhibit and were just thrilled to catch them playing outside for the first time," Tracey Lee said.

Visitors to London Zoo can now watch the tiger cubs playing in their outdoor paddock. Credit: Zoological Society of London
The cubs have been enjoying exploring the pen. Credit: Zoological Society of London

London Zoo released hidden camera footage of the three newborn cubs earlier this month.

The three clubs have not yet been named. Credit: Zoological Society of London

The Sumatran tiger are classified as critically endangered on the ICUN Red List of Threatened Animals.

Poaching, habitat loss and human-conflict have led to a significantly decline in the population of the species.

There were estimated to be 1,000 Sumatran tigers in the wild in the 1970s but today’s figures suggest there are just 300.

One of the zookeepers have remarked how each of their personalities are shining through. Credit: Zoological Society of London
The seven-week-old cubs have not yet been named. Credit: Zoological Society of London

Visit the ZSL London Zoo Facebook page for regular updates on the cubs progress from zookeepers