Chester Zoo announces birth of critically-endangered rare tiger twins
Conservationists believe there are just 350 Sumatran tigers remaining in the wild
Chester Zoo has announced that critically-endangered tiger twins have been born at the zoo, and hidden CCTV cameras captured the incredible moment on video.
The tiny Sumatran tiger twins were born to first-time parents Kasarna and Dash at the UK’s leading charity zoo earlier this year on 7 January, and since then, the new family has spending lots of quality time bonding with each other in their den.
Zookeepers say the new arrivals will be named once they start to gain in confidence and venture outside – which they’re expecting will be some time in early April.
Until then, their adorable early life antics have been caught by the zoo’s CCTV cameras.
At the moment, conservationists believe there are just 350 Sumatran tigers remaining in the wild.
They are one world’s rarest tiger subspecies, and are listed as critically-endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) – which is the most severe conservation category and highest priority.
The expansion of unsustainable palm oil and coffee plantations has seen more than 90% of the Sumatran tiger habitat wiped out, which has brought them into close conflict with the human population, and as a result, the carnivores are more exposed and often killed when they come into contact with villagers, farmers or livestock.
The species is also heavily poached for its skin, bones and canine teeth – which are sold illegally on the traditional Asian medicine markets.
This is why, according to carnivore experts, the birth of the twins at Chester Zoo is “a significant step forward” for the conservation breeding programme that’s working to save the species from extinction.
“We’ve been closely monitoring Kasarna on our CCTV cameras as she get to grips with motherhood and her first litter of cubs,” said Dave Hall – Carnivore Team Manager at Chester Zoo.
“It’s a real privilege and incredibly special to watch.
“She’s a great mum and is being very attentive to her new infants, keeping them snuggled up in the den and feeding them every few hours. It won’t be too long until they gain enough confidence to start venturing outside for the very first time as a family, which is really exciting.”
He continued: “The birth of two more healthy Sumatran tiger cubs is another significant step forward in the long-term efforts to protect these incredible animals.
“One day, the pair will hopefully go on to themselves make a vital contribution to the endangered species breeding programme, which is now playing a critical role in preventing these majestic animals from becoming extinct.”
- Chester Zoo needs a new keeper to look after its penguins and parrots
- Rare baby tree kangaroo born at Chester Zoo for the first time in nearly 100 years
- Hollywood megastar Leonardo DiCaprio heaps praise on Chester Zoo for ‘bringing fish back from the dead’
Keen to help? Adopting a Sumatran tiger at Chester Zoo will help fund the zoo’s vital conservation work to protect declining tiger populations,
Find out more here.
Featured Image – Chester Zoo