London Zoo has celebrated the birth of one of the world’s rarest tigers, as part of a global effort to save the critically endangered species.
Footage from the zoo shows ten-year-old Sumatran tiger Gaysha cleaning and feeding her young just hours after its birth in the early hours of December 12th.
Sumatran tigers, from Indonesia, are the rarest and smallest subspecies of tiger, with the latest figures suggesting that only 300 are left in the wild.
The eyes of newborn tigers remain closed for the first few days after birth, and the baby will remain hidden in the young cave until its first vaccinations, where veterinarians and animal keepers will also be able to determine its sex.
But the zoo’s hidden “cubcam” has managed to capture some milestone moments, including the youngster taking his first shaky steps.
Keeper Lucy Reed said: “The fat little kid is doing really well in mom’s excellent care and is definitely taking after dad Asim in terms of size and strength.
“We knew Gaysha was approaching full term as we had seen her belly grow fast over the previous few weeks so we made her a special young den in anticipation.
“At the moment, while still keeping a watchful eye on the cubcam, we also take care not to disturb the family so they can bond together.”
Born almost a year on the day since Gaysha first arrived at London Zoo from Denmark, the almost three-week-old youngster has not yet been named.
Originally expected to be part of a litter of three, the baby’s two siblings did not survive the birth.
However, the birth is still a boost for a global breeding program working with zoos from around the world to protect the species.