Tom Anderrs

4 tiger cubs born at Longleat

Posted: 17th May, 2024

Four rare Amur tiger cubs have been born at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire to the delight of keepers.

Their birth is important  for the international breeding programme as the species is currently listed as endangered.  It also means the estate has the biggest collection of Amur tigers in the UK and the cubs equate to over 25 per cent of births across Europe in the previous two years.

The week-old babies are being nurtured by mum Yana and the hope is visitors will be able to see them in the Park in the summer, once they have had their inoculations. Their genders are not yet known so are yet to be named.

Mother tigress feeds cubs at Longleat

It is the third success for the Park with Fennec Fox kits and a rare Vulture Chick also born in recent weeks.

Darren Beasley, Head of Animal Operations, said: “We are delighted to make this announcement on the eve of Endangered Species Day – Friday 17 May. It is estimated that there are only 450 Amur tigers remaining in the wild making it one of the most endangered animals in the world. The birth of four Amur tigers gives a vital boost to the European breeding programme for the species which has, until now, seen just 15 cubs in the previous two years. So far this year, the cubs account for half of all successful Amur tiger births in  Europe in 2024.

“We are overjoyed. This is only the second litter of Amur Tigers in Longleat’s history and Yana is a fantastic mum.

“Our carnivore keepers – Amy Waller, Kayleigh Smith, Caleb Hall and Eloise Kilbane – made sure Yana had a birthing box in her house and have been keeping an eye on her as we knew a birth was imminent, but we didn’t expect four.

“Yana had two cubs in 2019 – Rusty and Yuki; Rusty moved to Blackpool last year as part of the breeding programme.”

The four cubs will be fed milk by mum for around six months and she will gradually wean them onto meat.

Yana and dad Red are both nine-years-old – the cubs nearly arrived on his birthday 17 May.

Longleat was the first Safari Park to open outside of Africa in 1966 and is committed to supporting conservation for endangered species.

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