Three Amur tiger cubs at the Highland Wildlife Park have been named just days after they stepped outside for the first time.
Park operators The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) revealed today the endangered cubs had been named in tribute to their native home of Russia.
Names for the female cubs were chosen by two of the wildlife conservation charity’s donors, naming them Nishka, meaning precious jewel, and Layla meaning night.
Meanwhile, the male cub has been named Aleksander following a public vote, in tribute to one of the park’s keepers who shares a birthday with the triplets.
FIRST STEPS OUTSIDE 🐾🌲
Our tiny Amur tiger cubs now have regular outdoor access, meaning lucky visitors could spot the triplets starting to explore.
— Highland Wildlife Park (@HighlandWPark) July 26, 2021
The announcement comes just days after the triplets were released from their den for the first time since their birth in May.
Keepers released a video on social media on Monday marking the milestone occasion.
Raising awareness of endangered species
The precious names were chosen by keepers at the Kincraig park to help raise awareness of the hardships this endangered species face in the wild.
Keith Gilchrist, animal collection manager at Highland Wildlife Park said: “We wanted to give the trio names which would pay tribute to their native home and help raise awareness of the plight this endangered species, and sadly many others, face in the wild.
“The female cubs were name by two of our charity’s donors, Nishka meaning precious jewel and Layla meaning night, while the male cub was named Aleksander after a public vote in tribute to our keeper Alex who shares a birthday with the triplets.”
New additions at the Highland Wildlife Park
The cubs were born to mum Dominika and dad Botzman on May 18.
It marks the second litter for Dominika who previously gave birth in 2013.
Following their birth, the triplets were kept away from public view as they were being nursed by mum.
On Monday, the cubs were allowed out to start exploring following a clean bill of health at their first check-up last week.
The trio are to be given regular outdoor access moving forward after receiving their relevant vaccinations.
As the cubs grow older, dad Botzman will be gradually introduced to them.
The latest additions form part of the RZSS endangered species breeding programme for Amur tigers.