Rare tiger cubs unveiled by zoo

A ZOO has welcomed two new arrivals this Christmas following the birth of a pair of rare tiger cubs.

A ZOO has welcomed two new arrivals this Christmas following the birth of a pair of rare tiger cubs.

The nine week old Amur - or Siberian - tiger cubs were born at Banham Zoo.

Infrared CCTV cameras have been installed in their nursery box, allowing staff and visitors to see the cubs without causing any disturbance to mother and her offspring.

The cubs recently had their first health check where it was discovered they were both male - prompting the search for suitable names.


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Both the zoo's adult Amur tigers, Mischa and Malyshka, have traditional Russian names meaning “little bear or fighter” and “little one” and their keepers are keen to follow in this tradition.

Mike Woolham, the zoo's animal manager, said: “As you can imagine, nine week old tiger cubs are little demons.

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“They are monsters for playing and their mother is the climbing frame. They bite her tail and pull on her ears. She has the patience of a saint - she's a lovely mother.”

He said the only real difference between the two cubs is one has a gargantuan appetite.

The cubs' mother, Malyshka, is the 4th most important female in the European breeding programme and Banham Zoo was the only zoo in the UK to have an official recommendation from the studbook to breed Amur tigers in 2008.

Recent information indicates that there are only between 450 and 500 Amur tigers left in the wild.

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