Three Sumatran tiger cubs have been released into their enclosure at Flamingo Land in Ryedale, North Yorkshire. The two month old cubs have been named Kuasa, Mentari and Bulan.
It is estimated that there are only around 440 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, so the birth of the Flamingo Lands tigers equals an almost one per cent increase in the population levels.
Dr Andy Marshall, a lecturer from the Environment department at the University of York and Director of Conservation Science at Flamingo Land, is set to travel to Sumatra next year to investigate ways of improving the Sumatran environment and furthering the protection of the animals in their natural habitat. The destruction of their habitat is the greatest threat to the animals, followed by poaching.
Dr Marshall said “This is a significant event for tigers worldwide. The viable wild Sumatran tiger population is below 300 individuals and an approximately equivalent number form part of the global conservation breeding efforts by zoos.” The cubs will stay with their mother for up to two years before being moved to other zoos.