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Baby tiger cubs at London Zoo
Photograph: George Cuevas/ZSL London Zoo

There are sickeningly cute new photos of London Zoo’s baby tigers

Sumatrans are the rarest tiger subspecies in the world, with figures suggesting only 300 remain in the wild

Written by
Ellie Muir

Earlier this month, an exciting trio arrived at London Zoo. Three critically endangered Sumatran tiger cubs were born.

Today, London Zoo has finally released images of the cubs taking their first teeny-tiny steps into the outdoor paddocks. For three weeks, the family were tucked away in their indoor den which was used for the birth. It was up to ten-year-old mother Gaysha to decide when the time was right to allow her children into the great outdoors.

ZSL London Zoo tiger keeper Kathryn Sanders said: ‘We were confident that Gaysha was pregnant and had estimated roughly how far along she was. When we observed her stomach grow noticeably in the past few weeks, we knew she was nearing full-term.

‘We prepared her a special indoor cubbing den, filled it with soft straw for comfort, and began a nightly vigil – monitoring her progress remotely on screen. In the early hours of last Monday morning, Gaysha’s contractions began and I watched via live feed as she gave birth to one, two then three healthy cubs – I held my breath in awe the whole time.’

Sumatran tigers are the rarest and smallest subspecies of tigers in the world, with the latest figures suggesting that only around 300 remain in the wild. This subspecies is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to poaching, habit loss and human-wildlife conflict.

The cub trio will be named after their first vaccinations, when the vets and zoo keepers will be able to confirm the cubs’ sexes at around three months of age.

Until then, it’s time for the rare newborns to embrace the cub-life AKA cuddling mother Gaysha and getting free food.

Here are some exclusive pictures of the oh-so-fluffy baby cubs in action...

Baby tiger cubs
Photograph: George Cuevas/ZSL London Zoo
Baby tiger cub being carried by mother
Photograph: George Cuevas/ZSL London Zoo

Mayor Sadiq Khan has said NO to barbecues during the heatwave.

More animal news? We’ve got you. Wild bison have returned to the British countryside after 6,000 years.

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