Rare Amur tiger cubs thriving at Longleat

Longleat keepers have shared an update on the four rare Amur tiger cubs born a month ago at the Wiltshire Safari Park.

The birth attracted world-wide attention as the cubs accounted for half of all successful Amur tigers born in Europe so far this year.

The Amur tiger is one of the most endangered animals in the world with only around 450 remaining in the wild.

Mum Yana is now able to leave them for short periods says Carnivore Keeper Kayleigh Smith, who with colleague Caleb Hall have recorded a short update video.

“It is really lovely to see their personalities starting to come through; we’ve identified one which is an explorer who took their first steps early and was the first to climb over mum,” said Kayleigh.

This is Yana’s second litter as she had two – Rusty and Yuki – in 2019. Yana and the cubs’ dad Red are both nine-years-old.

“They are developing so quickly; their eyes are fully open and they are now looking in the direction of sound,” said Caleb.

“Over the next couple of weeks, they will start to try solid food rather than just having Yana’s milk and will have their first vaccinations at eight weeks.

“At 12 weeks they will have their second vaccinations and will be able to wander outside, but it will be late summer before they can go into the main paddock,” he added.

Native to the far east of Russia, the Amur tiger is the largest of the big cats and can weigh up to 300 kg and measure more than three metres in length.

In the 1930s the tigers had nearly died out due to hunting and logging. At one stage it is thought the population fell as low as just 20–30 animals.