It‘s a few small steps for these cute cubs – but a giant leap for an endangered species of tiger.
This is the moment when a trio of young Amur tigers took their first tentative stroll out in public at Doncaster’s Yorkshire Wildlife Park.
Under the watchful gaze of their mum, Tschuna, the eight-week-old cubs enjoyed their debut public display before retreating back in their shelter.
Staff at the park, in Branton, see the occasion a sign of hope for a majestic species pushed to the brink of extinction.
Cheryl Williams, park director, said: “It is wonderful to have three healthy cubs of this incredibly beautiful animal.
“Amur tiger cubs are very rare indeed so we are delighted they have been born here.
“They are a great success story for the European Breeding programme and our conservation work here in Yorkshire. It is fantastic news and the public will love them – they are very playful and full of life.”
The unnamed litter’s parents, Vlad, aged six, and Tschuna, four, were introduced to each other at Yorkshire Wildlife Park last September. The litter was born on March 29.
The trio will all receive names beginning with H, as will all animals born at YWP in 2015.
Just 450 Amur tigers are left in the wild, with poaching and logging pushing the animals into small pockets in the far east of Russia.
Cheryl said: “We are committed to saving species that are under desperate threats.
“It is such a joy to see the new Amurs and know that another crucial step has been made to save them.”
* The Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation is raising money for Amur tigers in the wild. Visit www.ywpfoundation.com.