An exciting trio has arrived at London Zoo.
Three critically endangered Sumatran tiger cubs have been born. The Zoo’s hidden ‘cubcam’ footage shows ten-year-old mum Gaysha giving birth and cleaning the rare newborns.
ZSL London Zoo tiger keeper Kathryn Sanders said: ‘We were confident that Gaysha was pregnant and had estimated roughly how far along she was – when we observed her stomach grow noticeably in the past few weeks, we knew she was nearing full-term.’
‘We prepared her a special indoor cubbing den, filled it with soft straw for comfort, and began a nightly vigil – monitoring her progress remotely on screen,’ said Sanders. ‘In the early hours of last Monday morning, Gaysha’s contractions began and I watched via live feed as she gave birth to one, two then three healthy cubs – I held my breath in awe the whole time.’
The eleven-day-old cubs are still tucked away in the tiger family’s indoor den which was used for the birth. It is up to mother Gaysha to decide when it’s time for the cubs to be unleashed into outdoor paddocks.
Sumatran tigers are the rarest and smallest subspecies of tigers in the world, with the latest figures suggesting that only approximately 300 remain in the wild. This subspecies is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to poaching, habit loss and human-wildlife conflict.
The cub trio will be named after their first vaccinations when the vets and zoo keepers will be able to confirm the cubs’ sexes at around three months of age.
Until then, it’s time for the rare newborns to embrace the cub-life AKA cuddling mother Gaysha and getting free food.
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