After a 108-day pregnancy, 7-year-old Sumatran tigress Melati gave birth to two of the world's rarest tiger cubs at ZSL London Zoo. And they can't even open their eyes yet!
The first cuddly, striped cub was born at 9:19 a.m. on June 27, followed by the second at 10:02 a.m., just about 40 minutes later. Excited zookeepers watched the birth via a hidden camera.
"We’re overjoyed with our new arrivals, and with how Melati is responding to her two cubs," said Teague Stubbington, the assistant curator of mammals. "The cubcam allows us to observe the youngsters 24/7 while not disturbing mum or dad at all, which is ideal while they get to know their babies."
Stubbington said an employee is always on duty to watch the cubs throughout the night.
The wild Sumatran tiger population is estimated to be as low as 300, so the new arrival of the little ones represents a great achievement for the zoo and for the global breeding programme of the critically endangered animal.
"ZSL has been in Sumatra for more than 14 years, working with our government counterparts to increase the protection of Sumatran tigers," said Andjar Rafiastanto, who works in Indonesia to protect the wild animals. "The birth of these two tiger cubs brings us hope for their long-term survival."
Check out the amazing video below!