With only 300 Sumatran tigers left worldwide, staffers at the London Zoo were probably ecstatic after the arrival of three cubs in early February.
On Thursday, the zoo released video footage of the cubs.
“We’ve been observing them 24/7, and one of us is always on duty to keep an eye on the little ones throughout the night,” zookeeper Teague Stubbington said online.
“We’ve even been able to observe key milestones like their eyes opening and their tentative first steps.”
The triplets were born to dad Jae Jae and mom Melati early in the morning on Feb. 3. The zoo has yet to name the cubs or determine their gender despite constant observation by closed-circuit cameras.
It’s welcome news for the parents, since Melati’s cub drowned last year, Agence France-Presse reported.
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The unnamed cub was the first to be born in London in 17 years, and zookeepers couldn't understand how it drowned.
The Zoological Society of London labels Sumatran tigers “the world’s rarest,” and called the three cubs’ arrival a major victory for a worldwide breeding program.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, you can only spot these unique tigers on the island of Sumatra. The Indonesian island is also the only place where tigers, rhinos, orangutans and elephants all live together.
While Sumatran tigers were estimated to number 1,000 just 35 years ago, the population has declined steadily to the point where they’ve become critically endangered.
Poaching and deforestation are the tigers’ greatest enemies.
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