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WATCH: Three rare Amur tiger cubs take their first public bow at Highland Wildlife Park

By Gavin Musgrove

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A litter of endangered Amur tiger cubs have taken their first steps outside at the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland’s (RZSS) Highland Wildlife Park.

The three cubs will have regular outdoor access from today meaning lucky visitors could spot the triplets as they start to explore their new surroundings.

It follows their first health check and vaccinations from staff at the wildlife conservation charity at the end of last week.

The cubs have been spending most of their time in the cubbing den with mum Dominika since she gave birth in May, and dad Botzman will be gradually introduced to them as they grow older.

Keith Gilchrist, animal collection manager at popular attraction by Kincraig, said: “At 10 weeks old, our cubs are getting braver and more playful every day, with their personalities already starting to develop.

"It is lovely to see just how excited our visitors are to meet them.

“Given how young they are, they won’t be allowed outside for the whole day and will likely only be out for short bursts, followed by long naps indoors.”

The tiger cubs with mum earlier today at the Highland Wildlife Park. Photo: Aidan Woods
The tiger cubs with mum earlier today at the Highland Wildlife Park. Photo: Aidan Woods

Two of the cubs are female and will be named by the wildlife conservation charity’s donors, in tribute to the species’ native home of Russia.

The RZSS is now also looking for the public’s help to name the remaining boy on their social media platforms.

Mr Gilchrist said: “We want to give the trio names which would pay tribute to their native home and help raise awareness of the plight this endangered species and sadly many others, face in the wild.

“Two of our generous donors will be naming our female cubs and we are asking the public to help us name our little boy on our social media platforms, by picking from two names shortlisted by our keepers, Aleksander and Dimitri.

“Aleksander was chosen as the cubs were born on carnivore keeper Alex’s birthday and Dimitri is a Russian name meaning earth-lover after Greek goddess Demeter.”

With Highland Wildlife Park’s visitor numbers being restricted due to the Covid-19 pandemic, anyone hoping to visit the family must book their tickets online in advance.

Daska Mackintosh, head of operations and visitor services at the wildlife park, said: “Every visit to Highland Wildlife Park helps care for amazing animals in Scotland and around the world, so it is wonderful to see more and more people coming back and hoping to see our Amur tiger family.

“We are so grateful for the support we have had from the public throughout this incredibly challenging year for our charity.

"If restrictions continue to ease, we are on track to have one of our best summers yet.

“Our visitor numbers are still limited for everyone’s safety, so I would like to remind everyone to check online and book ahead to avoid disappointment.”

More information about what to expect when visiting Highland Wildlife Park can be found here

PICTURES: First glimpse of triplets being checked over as genders confirmed

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