Three rare Amur tiger cubs have taken their first steps out of their den at Highland Wildlife Park.
Following a clean bill of health at their first check-up last week, the cubs were allowed out to start exploring.
Since they have also now received their vaccinations, they will be allowed regular outdoor access starting from Monday, July 26.
The cubs were born at the Kingussie park, run by the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS), in May.
Since then, they have spent most of their time inside their den with mum Dominika.
Now though, they will be able to play in the entirety of their enclosure.
Keith Gilchrist, animal collection manager at Highland Wildlife Park, said, “At 10 weeks old, our cubs are getting braver and more playful every day, with their personalities already starting to develop. It is lovely to see just how excited our visitors are to meet them.
“Given how young they are, they won’t be allowed outside for the whole day and will likely only be out for short bursts, followed by long naps indoors.”
Their medical checks also finally revealed that two of the cubs are female and one is male. All three are yet to be named.
The two female cubs are to be named by the wildlife conservation charity’s donors. Their names will pay tribute to the species’ native home of Russia.
The male cub however is to be named by the public.
We want YOU to name our boy by picking from two names, Aleksander + Dimitri.
Aleksander was chosen as the cubs share keeper Alex’s birthday + Dimitri means earth-lover 🐯
The females will be named by two of our charity’s donors in tribute to the species' native home of Russia.
— Highland Wildlife Park (@HighlandWPark) July 26, 2021
RZSS have narrowed the choice down to two names, which followers on their social media channels will be able to vote on.
Mr Gilchrist said: “Two of our generous donors will be naming our female cubs and we are asking the public to help us name our little boy on our social media platforms, by picking from two names shortlisted by our keepers, Aleksander and Dimitri.
“Aleksander was chosen as the cubs were born on carnivore keeper Alex’s birthday and Dimitri is a Russian name meaning earth-lover after Greek goddess Demeter.”
Visiting the park
Daska Mackintosh, head of operations and visitor services at the park is happy that eased coronavirus restrictions means that more people will be able to enjoy the new arrivals.
She said: “Every visit to Highland Wildlife Park helps care for amazing animals in Scotland and around the world, so it is wonderful to see more and more people coming back and hoping to see our Amur tiger family.
“We are so grateful for the support we have had from the public throughout this incredibly challenging year for our charity. If restrictions continue to ease, we are on track to have one of our best summers yet.
“Our visitor numbers are still limited for everyone’s safety, so I would like to remind everyone to check online and book ahead to avoid disappointment.”
Anyone hoping to visit the park, and the Amur tiger cubs, can book a slot here.