ZSL London Zoo is now home to three cubs belonging to one of the world's rarest big cat species. There are only some 300 Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae) still living in the wild. They're classified by the IUCN Red List as "Critically Endangered," because they suffer from habitat loss, territory fragmentation, human-tiger conflict, and poaching.
That's why it's such a big deal that three cubs were born last month at in the early hours of February 3, 2014. The triplets were born to five-year-old mother Melati and six-year-old dad Jae Jae. In the video clip above watch the cubs nurse, see mom groom her babies, and more. My favorite part begins around 1:05, where one of the cubs just came seem to make its limbs work right. It's especially heartening because just last October, Melati's 2-week-old cub drowned in a pond in the tiger enclosure. The zoo is taking no chances with the new triplets; a spokesperson for the zoo told The Guardian today that the pond has been drained.
"While we still don't know whether they're boys or girls, we're starting to see their personalities develop," said zookeeper Teague Stubbington in a press release. "We've nicknamed one Trouble, as it's much bolder than the others – it was the first to start exploring its den and we've spotted it waking up its siblings when they fall asleep!"