Critically endangered baby tigers welcomed into the world on camera
The London Zoo is celebrating the births of two critically endangered Sumatran tiger cubs, which zookeepers were lucky enough to capture on hidden cameras.
The twin tigers, whose genders have yet to be revealed, were born to a 7-year-old tiger named Melati, who also gave birth to triplets named Nakal, Budi and Cinta a few years ago.
"Zookeepers say that Melati is an intelligent and careful cat – taking her time to assess situations before jumping in paws-first. Unlike her roommate Jae Jae, Melati prefers to get to know people before deciding whether she likes them but she's a loyal friend once she does," the zoo said.
Eight-year-old Jae Jae turned out to be the father of the two newborn cubs, and can also be seen in the video checking in on his two new babies.
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Meanwhile, Melati seems to have warmed up quite well to her babies, and refused to leave their sides.
"Melati and her cubs, who have yet to open their eyes, remain largely tucked away together inside their special cubbing dens with Melati occasionally venturing outside for food," the zoo said.
The birth was captured on what zookeepers are calling the "cubcam," and shows the babies arrive, receive a cleaning from their mother, and then nestle up for their first feeding.
The birth itself was a huge step forward for the future of the tiger's species, which has as few as 300 wild cats left in the wild.
"ZSL has been in Sumatra for more than 14 years, working with our government counterparts to increase the protection of Sumatran tigers. The birth of these two tiger cubs brings us hope for their long-term survival," said country manager Andjar Rafiastanto.