Endangered Sumatran tiger cubs are born in British zoo - adding to just 400 left in the world

The eight-week-old Sumatran tiger cubs rolled in the grass as mother Surya kept a close eye on them.

The arrival of the two females and one male at Flamingo Land Zoo near Malton, North Yorkshire, in late March boosted the world population of their endangered species by nearly one per cent.

They are destined to try to help secure the future of the Sumatran tiger by joining the European zoos’ breeding programme when they grow up. Zoo manager Ross Snipp said: “It was a fantastic feeling when the cubs were born, a real sense of joy.

“As a zoo, it doesn’t get much ­better than breeding a critically ­endangered species. “This is what we are here for.

"This has been seven years in the making and we are very proud to have delivered three healthy cubs.”

The cubs were born to Surya and father Bawa, who arrived at the zoo in 2010 in the hope that they would breed.

There are thought to be just 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild and they face an uncertain future due to logging firms clearing their jungle home and the demand for tiger parts for traditional Chinese medicine.

In the wild the tigers live, on ­average, for about four years but can reach age 20 in captivity, which means these cubs could oversee a mini-SDHppopulation boom. But for now all they want is to do what all youngsters enjoy – play in the sunshine.

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