We're very excited about the birth of FOUR gorgeous tiger cubs at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo! The cubs are growing fast, and we didn't want you to miss out on their cuteness. Our keepers are capturing their first moments on hidden cameras in the den, and we'll be sharing weekly updates with you.
Week one - Friday 29 June
Four endangered Amur tiger cubs have been born at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo!
The cubs were born to mum Naya on Saturday 23 June, after 108 days of pregnancy, and only 121 days (four months) after meeting dad Botzman.
Naya and her cubs are getting to know each other in a birthing den, with Naya only venturing away from her babies occasionally to have a drink.
Naya is very attentive, cleaning the cubs regularly and letting them suckle whenever they want to. She has also stayed very calm and relaxed throughout, even when dad Botzman went in to see what was going on. He seemed to take one look at the first cub and decide to give them some space!
Week two - Friday 6 July
The cubs are starting to open their eyes!
The cubs will turn two weeks old tomorrow and are all doing very well. Naya has started to venture out of the den on a more regular basis now that they're a bit older. This can be up to a few times per day for up to around half an hour at a time, allowing her to eat and drink and stretch her legs.
Botzman is still being very respectful and is giving Naya and the cubs space, but we have seen him go up to the entrance of the den to say hello.
The cubs have become more and more active and seem to have already grown visibly bigger and stronger. This has meant Naya has had to keep a closer eye on them to stop them wandering off and we have seen her picking them up by the scruff of the neck and repositioning them in the den. We have also noticed an exciting development - at least one of the cubs has started to open its eyes and the others are sure to follow suit over the next few days.
Week three - Friday 13 July
The cubs are learning to crawl!
At almost three weeks old the cubs are all continuing to do really well. As well as having opened their eyes, the cubs' legs are getting a lot stronger and they have started to crawl properly instead of dragging themselves around.
With the hot weather persisting, Naya has been spending more and more time outside - for up to a couple of hours at a time! This shows that she is very comfortable in her environment as she feels secure enough to leave the cubs sleeping happily with full bellies in the den.
We have also noticed on a couple of occasions Naya has brought a cub outside of the den in her mouth for a minute and then taken it back in the den. As we don’t expect the cubs to make a proper appearance outside for at least another few weeks, our theory is that this may just be to give the cubs a bit of fresh air outside the den in the hot weather. While all of this is going on, dad Botzman is still happy to give his family space and has been chilling out in the cooler indoor area a lot during the heatwave.
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