A trio of rare tiger cubs born at Doncaster’s Yorkshire Wildlife Park have enjoyed a roaring good celebration for their first birthday today.
The Amur tigers’ first birthday is a landmark day as Hector, Harley and their sister Hope are a symbol of hope for the future of the endangered species.
The tigers’ numbers have dwindled to a critical level in the wild due to poaching and disappearing habitat.
Today the siblings enjoyed some special birthday presents in their reserve at the Land of the Tiger zone in the award-winning park.
Hector, Harley and Hope made short work of opening their gifts, containing special meat treats, while proud mother Tschuna watched from a distance. But father Vladimir -in the neighbouring reserve - did not enter into the party mood, not taking much notice of the celebrations.
Kim Wilkins, carnivore team leader, who has looked after the cubs since they were born, said: “It’s great to see them having so much fun but they also represent the future of one of the most beautiful big cats on the planet. We are a part of an international programme to save the species and Hector, Harley and Hope are crucial to that. This is a very special birthday.”
Only 450 Amur Tigers survive in the wild in their native Russia.
The YWP Foundation raises money at the park, in Branton, to help Amur tigers and leopards in the wild.