Endangered Amur tiger cubs born at Scottish wildlife park

Staff at the Highland Wildlife Park said the cubs are doing well so far but they remain cautious at this early stage.

Play icon Royal Zoological Society of Scotland

A litter of three endangered Amur tiger cubs has been born at a Scottish wildlife park.

Staff at the Highland Wildlife Park said the cubs are doing well so far but they remain cautious at this early stage.

The tiny triplets are being nursed by their mother, Dominika, away from public view and will be slowly introduced to their father Botzman as they grow.

The cubs’ eyes have yet to open, having been born on May 18, but soon they will be weighed and given their first health check before being named.

Vickie Larkin, carnivore team leader at the park, said the team were very excited about the new arrivals but that the first few weeks of a cub’s life are “crucial”.

She said: “The cubs’ eyes will start to open any day now and in the coming weeks they will be weighed and sexed during their first health check and named shortly after.

“Amur tigers grow quite quickly, increasing almost four times in size within the first month of their life, but they will remain dependent on their mum for at least 15 months. We hope visitors will start to see them out and about towards the end of July.

“Dominika is a very attentive mother and it is beautiful to see her given the chance to display these natural behaviours again.”

The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, which runs the park, is part of the endangered species breeding programme for Amur tigers, with Dominika giving birth to a previous litter in 2013.

The charity also supports tiger conservation in Nepal, developing methods to analyse their diest at a special lab based at Edinburgh Zoo.

Ms Larkin said: “There are just 500 Amur tigers remaining in the wild, so our adorable cubs represent an important contribution to the future of this endangered species which is at risk of extinction due to extensive habitat loss and poaching.”

Once the cubs are old enough for visitors, one lucky winner and their loved ones could have the chance to feed the tiger family by entering a prize draw to help raise funds for Scotland’s Wildlife Discovery Centre, a new visitor experience at the park. You can find out more here.