All eyes on tiger cubs

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All eyes on tiger cubs

Thursday, February 12, 2009, 09:30

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THE birth of four rare Sumatran tiger cubs at Paignton Zoo has attracted media interest from all over the UK.

The story, as reported exclusively by the Herald Express, has been picked up by TV stations and national newspapers.

The 2 lb, week-old cubs will not be on show for several weeks to give new mum Banda some breathing space and to ensure they bond.
The zoo says the cubs should have their first public appearance within four to six weeks.

Meanwhile zoo staff are working to erect video screens to show recorded footage of the youngsters in the den.

Video footage released by the zoo shows the birth of the second of the cub, the youngsters crawling and rolling around in bedding in the den, and attempting to suckle.

The CCTV cameras are allowing Paignton Zoo keepers to maintain a watch over their new Sumatran tiger cubs without disturbing them. Staff can watch by remote control as mother Banda tends her new litter.

Senior mammal keeper Jason Knight said: “We are very hands off in this situation, but the cameras mean we can still monitor the progress of the cubs. It’s early days yet but so far, so good. Banda is doing fantastically well.”

A zoo spokesman said: “This is great news for our visitors. We hope there will be young tigers and maybe young orangutans for them to see here from Easter onwards. “As a charity we rely on our visitors for our income. “More visitors mean more money to spend on conservation and education projects.

“We had a great response when Zuri became the first black rhino calf in the world to be born on the internet back in 2007.

“People from all over the world were able to follow her progress.

“These births have excited considerable media interest.

“We are hoping that all four will survive, but it is not unknown in these circumstances for one to die.”

Video clips of the tiger cubs will soon be playing on computer screens in the Hub, in the centre of the zoo, so that visitors can get a glimpse of them.

SEE video of the tiger cubs, including the remarkable moment the second of the four cubs was born, on our website

Cameras at Paignton Zoo have captured mum and cubs feeding and grooming.

The video can also be seen on our new YouTube site

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