WATCH: 3 cute tiger cubs born at Colchester Zoo
PUBLISHED: 16:07 24 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:14 24 June 2019
Overjoyed zookeepers have announced the arrival of endangered Amur tiger cubs following a successful mating at Colchester Zoo.
The three cubs were born happy and healthy on Friday, June 14 after tigers Taiga and Igor were successfully bred earlier in the year - making it the first time in Colchester Zoo's history that tigers have successfully been raised at the zoo.
The Tiger Keepers had been awaiting the arrival of the cubs with a specially prepared den set up with bedding materials and a camera in place so that they could keep an eye on any activity.
A few days prior to the birth, mother Taiga who is four years old, began to show nesting behaviours and was acting very restless and looked uncomfortable.
To the delight of the tiger keepers three cubs were found in the den on the Friday morning - and mother Taiga is already proving to be a very attentive, loving mother.
A spokesman for Colchester zoo said: "It takes around two weeks for tiger cubs' eyes to open and at around four weeks the cubs will be up and about in the den as they become more stable on their feet.
"It will be a number of weeks until they are big enough to begin exploring and for now the cubs will remain off show as they receive the care and attention required from Taiga. At six weeks old the cubs will receive their first vaccinations and it will be then that they will be sexed and named."
Mother Taiga arrived at the zoo in February 2017 and father Igor arrived back in 2006, from Vienna Zoo. For now the cubs will be kept separate from their father Igor as they grow up to ensure their safety.
The arrival of the three cubs is not only exciting for the zoo, but it is also amazing news for the population of Amur tigers which are currently listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list.
Amur tigers come from the Amur Region along the eastern border between China and Russia, with their habitat containing some of the coldest areas in the world. They are also known as Siberian Tigers and are the largest and palest of all tiger subspecies.
The zoo will be making further announcements as the amur cubs begin to settle into their home.