4 Apr 2023

Our photographers captured the moment the playful pair ventured outside for the first time with their mum, Kasarna.

The cubs were born in January but have only now started to venture out and discover the outside world. They’ve been having a great time exploring their expansive habitat – check out this amazing footage of the twins enjoying some playful ‘rough and tumble’ under the watchful eye of their proud mum!

Our carnivore experts have revealed both cubs to be female and have named the twins Alif, a popular name in Indonesia, and Raya after Mount Raya in Sumatra.

Sumatran tigers are found only in patches of forest on the Indonesian island of Sumatra where just 350 remain. The species is listed as Critically Endangered in the wild by the world’s authority on the state of the nature, The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Habitat loss, hunting pressures and human-wildlife conflict are pushing the big cats closer to extinction.

“These majestic animals are hanging on to survival by a thread in Sumatra. They’re one of the world’s rarest tiger subspecies and so to see these two cubs thriving here is absolutely wonderful.”

Dayna Thain, Carnivore Keeper

Dayna continued to say…

“The cubs are still a little shy and pop in and out of the den with mum Kasarna, but it’s going to be a real privilege to watch as they grow in confidence and their feisty personalities really start to show through.

“Crucially, with so few Sumatran tigers left on the planet, Kasarna’s girls are vitally important additions to the conservation breeding programme which is working tirelessly to prevent the species from becoming extinct.”

An increasing human population has seen more than 90% of the Sumatran tiger habitat wiped out, bringing the big cats into close conflict with villagers, farmers and livestock. The species is also heavily poached for its skin, bones and canine teeth, which are sold illegally in traditional Asian medicine markets.

Our conservationists are fighting illegal poaching and helping to mitigate conflict between humans and tigers in India and Nepal as part of our Terai Tiger and Living With Tigers projects, to further improve the future for another tiger subspecies, the Bengal tiger.

Sumatran tiger fact file:

  • They have webbed paws, making them excellent swimmers
  • Their stripes are closer together than other tigers
  • White spots on their ears act as false eyes to them appear alert from behind


Shop our full range of tiger-themed gifts online! From soft toys to stationery, with every purchase you’re supporting our mission to prevent extinction.


Adopting a Sumatran tiger at Chester Zoo will help fund our vital conservation work, PLUS you’ll receive an exclusive adoption pack and your name will be displayed on a plaque by their habitat!