Two rare and critically endangered Amur tiger cubs, recently born at Woburn Safari Park, have been busy exploring their new home where they are now on view to the public for the first time.
The playful five-month-old cubs are now old enough to live in the main tiger reserve (part of the Kingdom of the Carnivores section in the Road Safari), where they are being given the grand tour by their mother, four-year-old Minerva.
Born in September last year, the precious pair have lived together under the watchful eye of Minerva, in the purpose-built Tiger House away from public view. Here, the adorable duo spent autumn and Christmas learning to play, pounce, sharpen their claws, feed on meat and cause plenty of mischief. Their arrival has also been the subject of a special feature on CBBC’s Blue Peter, which aired last Thursday and is now available to view online on the CBBC iPlayer website.
These are the first tiger cubs to be born at Woburn Safari Park in 23 years, so their birth is an important landmark for keepers. The latest estimates show that numbers of Amur tigers (also referred to as Siberian tigers) are as low as 520 in the wild. Major decreases in tiger populations over recent years are due to poaching for body parts and loss of habitat. The international captive breeding programme for this threatened species is therefore of vital importance to help protect the future of this beautiful species.
From February 9 the public are being given the opportunity to help name one of the cubs by visiting www.woburnsafari.co.uk/cubnaming and voting for their favourite name from a shortlist of six options.
The shortlist was chosen from the entries in a special competition, taken from a much larger pool submitted by the general public earlier this month. The cub’s official name will be announced on February 13.