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Tiger cubs make public debut

17 September 2008

Tiger cubs make public debut

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Auckland Zoo's three 14-week-old Sumatran tiger cubs make their much-anticipated public debut today.

"We have been working towards breeding Sumatran tigers for the last 10 years, so to be able to announce the cubs are on display is very exciting for us, and a great achievement," says Auckland Zoo carnivore team leader, Andrew Coers.

"Sumatran tigers are critically endangered with fewer than 300 remaining in the wild, so Jalur, Berani and Cinta are important for the future of tigers. We hope that people will see the cubs, connect with them and want to help," says Mr Coers.

The tiger team has been giving mum Molek and the cubs access outside for the last few weeks and believe they are now confident enough to venture out. Aware that people are extremely keen to come and see the cubs, the team has some tips for visitors - one of which is the need to be patient!

"In recent weeks we've been giving Molek access to go outside about three times a day. She has been coming out, checking the area is safe and then calling the cubs out. Once outside, the cubs have been absorbing everything new and enjoying playing with each other and Molek, which has been great to watch," says Mr Coers. "But being so young, they tire easily, so they have been heading back inside after about 20 minutes - although this will increase as they grow."

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Top tips to see tigers:

The Zoo can't guarantee or control that you will see the cubs- patience is recommended

* the cubs are currently given access outside approximately three times a day and this time varies each day, however is more likely between 10am - 3pm
* the cubs have been staying outside for approximately 20 minutes at a time

* whether the cubs go outside is dependant on fine weather

* during the September school holidays (27 September - 12 October) keepers have confirmed they will give the cubs access outside at 11.30am each day and there will be a tiger themed holiday programme


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