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Tiger, Tiger

A Big Cat wildlife sanctuary in Kent is opening its doors to the public for four days this summer. The Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Smarden looks after lions, tigers and other big cats as part of its charity work as a sanctuary and to carry out breeding programmes.

Last year there were miles of traffic queues as hundreds of people turned out for its one day open day. This year booking will only be online. Rebecca Porter, Head Keeper, explains the appeal.


Hooray, we have new names! Baby leopards celebrate

Zeya and Manchurian at play Credit: Wildlife Heritage Foundation

Two rare baby leopards born at a Kent Wildlife Sanctuary have been named, thanks to Meridian viewers. Following an appeal for suggestions, staff at the Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Smarden chose from hundreds of options.

They've called the female Amur cub Zeya and the boy, Manchurian. Both names are linked to the region in Russia where the leopards originate from.

There were some more wacky suggestions, though, from Fred-eater and Sang-eater to Chip and Dale. But we think these ones suit them.

The tigers who came for tea

Raika tucks in Credit: ITV Meridian

The first pictures have been released of two rare Sumatran tigers settling in at their new home at the Wildlife Heritage Foundation tucked away in the tiny hamlet of Smarden in Kent.

Raika and Lumpur were moved from London Zoo to the big cat sanctuary, after 15 years of living there.

Raika was born in Berlin in 1995 and Lumpur was born in France in 1997.

The pair have been together for many years, but despite much coaxing, haven't managed to breed.

Sumatran tigers are a critically endangered species which come from Indonesia, and are at threat from poachers and a decline in their natural habitat.

They can swim up to 6 miles and their roar can be heard more than a mile away.

Raika and Lumpur getting to know their new surroundings Credit: ITV Meridian


Let's hear it for the girls! Tiger cubs on camera in Kent

The Wildlife Heritage Foundation in Kent has released the first footage of its ten week old female tiger cubs.

The cubs were born to proud Mum Ronja, an Amur Tiger, at the conservation charity's headquarters in Smarden.

Members of the public will be able to see them, and other animals, when the charity opens its doors for a special open day and concert at the end of September.