Marwell Zoo reveals incredible footage of endangered new born tiger cubs

June 1, 2016

THREE Amur tiger cubs have been born at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire with staff capturing their first moments on secret den cameras.

It has been 12 years since the zoo has bred Amur tigers and this is the first successful litter for Mum ‘Milla’ and Dad ‘Bagai’. The triplets were born to five-year-old Milla on Saturday May 21st in the privacy of a behind the scenes den.

Before Milla gave birth, animal keepers set up cameras inside the den so they could keep a close eye on Mum and cubs without disturbing her. So far keepers are delighted with the cubs’ progress.

Marc Fox, team leader of carnivores at Marwell Zoo said: “We are over the moon that Milla has successfully given birth to three cubs. As it’s 12 years since we had tiger cubs this is particularly great news for Marwell.

“The footage allows us to keep a close eye on Milla and it’s great to see her looking relaxed in the den. So far everything is looking very good and Milla is doing a great job at looking after them.”

Milla will stay in the den and will not be visible to the public until the cubs are fully vaccinated and it’s safe for them to venture out into their paddock. It is expected visitors to the zoo will be able to see the cubs in the summer holidays. Dad, Bagai can currently be seen in the main exhibit at the zoo.

Marc added: “As the cubs won’t be visible for a few weeks we wanted to give the public a sneak preview of the cubs and share the good news. I’m sure guests to the zoo will be very excited to see them.”

Milla and Bagai are part of an important European endangered species Breeding Programme (EEP) which maintains a healthy captive population of tigers and preserves critical genetic diversity for the future.

In the 1940s, the Amur tiger was close to extinction with an estimated population of fewer than 30 individuals remaining in the wild. Decades of turmoil in Russia and formation of the former Soviet Union reportedly contributed to failures to stem uncontrolled persecution.

In 1947 the Soviet Union became the first country to introduce legislation that imposed protection, including banning hunting of tigers. Hunting of the tiger’s main prey species, boar and deer were also limited at this time.

Today, the Amur Tiger has full priority species protection in both countries in which it occurs, Russia and China. The population is now estimated to be 360 individuals. However, poaching is still a threat to the species.

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