22 December 2011

The rare cubs were checked by our vets and keepers who determined their sexes, wormed them, fitted them with microchips and gave them their vaccinations for cat flu.

Curator of Mammals, Tim Rowlands, said:

“They basically receive the same vaccines that a pet cat is given when it’s taken to the vets.

“The only difference is we’re much more cautious about handling the cubs than we would be with domestic kittens.”

Each of the cubs – which are only found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra in the wild – was also weighed and given a general check up.

Vetinary Officer, Livia Benato said:

“The cubs received a physical examination to check they are healthy and in good body condition.

“Happily, all three cubs – all girls – have been given a completely clean bill of health.”

On news that the trio were all shown to be female, Keeper Alan Woodward added:

“It’s fantastic that we have three little angels as opposed to three wise men this Christmas.”

The cubs were born here on October 21 and are the offspring of mum Kirana and dad Fabi.

Their arrivals are a big success for us and good news for the future of the species – with only 400 Sumatran tigers thought to be left in the wild, where they are poached for traditional medicine.

They will now become part of European-wide breeding programme, providing an important safety-net in the event that wild populations become extinct.