London Zoo celebrates birth of one of the world's rarest tigers
London Zoo is celebrating the birth of one of the world's rarest tigers in adorable new footage that captured the cub's first few hours.
Recordings from the zoo's hidden 'cubcam' shows 10-year-old mother Gaysha cleaning and feeding the rare newborn just hours after the birth.
The determined youngster then takes its very first wobbly steps on the soft straw of their cosy den.
While Gaysha has periodically ventured outdoors alone to stretch her legs in the days since, the two-week-old cub will most likely remain tucked away in the family's warm cubbing den until its first vaccinations - when vets and zookeepers will also be able to determine the cub's sex. One of an original litter of three, the cub's two siblings sadly did not survive labour.
Ms Reed added: 'The chunky little cub is doing really well in mum's excellent care, and definitely takes after dad Asim in terms of size and strength. We've seen some key milestones already, with the little one taking its first steps almost immediately and - more recently - opening its eyes, which are always closed for the first few days after birth.
'At the moment, while we're still keeping a close eye via cubcam, we're also taking care not to disturb the family so that they can bond together - we can't wait to get to know the little one as it grows bigger and begins to explore more of its surroundings.'
Born almost a year to the day since Gaysha arrived at London Zoo from Denmark on December 16, 2020, the new boy or girl is being celebrated as a boost to the collaborative global breeding programme for Sumatran tigers, which sees zoos around the world work together to look after a healthy back-up population of the Critically Endangered species.
Sumatran tigers are the rarest and smallest subspecies of tiger in the world, with the latest figures suggesting that only 300 remain in the wild.