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Amur tiger cubs pounce and play fight with their mother as they venture outside for the first time

Earning their stripes! Three-month-old tiger cubs pounce and play fight with their mother as they venture outside for the first time at Wiltshire safari park

  • Mother Yana seems protective of her cubs as she places a loving arm around the pair and stands at the front
  • But the cubs, a male called Rusty and female Yuki, still scamper around the pen, climb trees and play fight
  • An adorable shot shows one of the cubs stand on an overturned log, before it leaps to down and into its sibling
  • Amur tigers are one of the world’s most endangered species and the cubs are part of a breeding programme

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Heartwarming footage shows two endangered tiger cubs cuddling with their mother as they venture outside for the first time.

The clip from Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire shows the three-month-old Amur tigers pouncing and play fighting in their enclosure.

Their mother Yana appears very protective of her babies as she places a loving paw around the pair and stands in front of them.

The clip from Longleat Safari Park shows the three-month-old Amur tigers (one pictured with mother Yana) pouncing and play fighting in their enclosure

Their mother Yana appears very protective of her babies as she places a loving arm around them (pictured) and stands in front of the pair

Their mother Yana appears very protective of her babies as she places a loving arm around them (pictured) and stands in front of the pair

The cubs, a male called Rusty and female Yuki (both pictured), still seem keen to scamper around the pen, climb trees and play fight each other

The cubs, a male called Rusty and female Yuki (both pictured), still seem keen to scamper around the pen, climb trees and play fight each other

But the cubs, a male called Rusty and a female named Yuki, still seem keen to scamper around the pen, climb trees and play fight each other.

An adorable shot shows one of the tigers poised on an overturned log, before leaping to the ground and bundling into its sibling.

It tries the same trick with Yana, but the powerful big cat swipes a friendly paw towards the baby who tumbles away.

The Amur tigers are one of the world’s most endangered species and the cubs at Longleat are part of a European-wide breeding programme. 

An adorable shot shows one of the tiger cubs poised on an overturned log, before leaping to the ground (pictured) and bundling into its sibling

An adorable shot shows one of the tiger cubs poised on an overturned log, before leaping to the ground (pictured) and bundling into its sibling

The cub tries the same trick with Yana, but the powerful big cat swipes a friendly paw towards the baby who tumbles away

The cub tries the same trick with Yana, but the powerful big cat swipes a friendly paw towards the baby who tumbles away

The Amur tigers (pictured, the cubs) are one of the world's most endangered species and the cubs at Longleat are part of a European-wide breeding programme

The Amur tigers (pictured, the cubs) are one of the world’s most endangered species and the cubs at Longleat are part of a European-wide breeding programme

The beasts (pictured at Longleat) are a sub-species of Siberian tiger - the world's largest big cat - and originate from a remote part of the region

The beasts (pictured at Longleat) are a sub-species of Siberian tiger – the world’s largest big cat – and originate from a remote part of the region

In the 1930s they nearly died out due to hunting, with numbers falling to as low as between 20 and 30. But since then there has been a huge conservation effort and in 2007 their status was officially changed from critically endangered to endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. There are now believed to be 540 left in the world

In the 1930s they nearly died out due to hunting, with numbers falling to as low as between 20 and 30. But since then there has been a huge conservation effort and in 2007 their status was officially changed from critically endangered to endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. There are now believed to be 540 left in the world

Why are Amur tiger numbers declining so fast?

Amur tigers were once found throughout the Russian Far East, northern China and the Korean peninsula but now face increasing threats to their habitat.

Their forests are at risk from logging, conversion to agriculture, urban expansion, road construction, mining, fires and inadequate law enforcement.

Illegal logging is widespread throughout the Russian Far East and has a major impact on tiger populations because Korean pine and Mongolian oak provide critical food for the the tigers’ prey during the snow season.

At least 30 per cent of all Russian forest exports are tainted by illegal logging. 

The United States is the top importer of hardwoods harvested in the Russian Far East and manufactured as furniture in China.

In 2010, the Russian government listed Korean pine in Appendix III of CITES—requiring CITES permits for Korean pine timber exported from Russia and making it harder for the illegal timber trade to continue.

Dark Forest, an undercover Russian documentary investigating the timber mafia in Russia, puts a spotlight on the high-level corruption prevalent in the system. 

The film highlights the prevalence of illegal deforestation in protected areas and fake auctions in the Russian Far East. 

The documentary confirms several WWF reports that revealed that much of the logging in the region is illegal.

 Source: worldwildlife.org 

They are a sub-species of Siberian tiger – the world’s largest big cat – and originate from a remote area in the region as well as northern China and parts of Korea.

In the 1930s they nearly died out due to hunting, with numbers falling to as low as between 20 and 30.

But since then there has been a huge conservation effort and in 2007 their status was officially changed from critically endangered to endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list.

There are now believed to be 540 left in the world. 

The Longleat cubs’ keeper Caleb Hall said: ‘Going outside for the first time is always a key milestone in the development of any cub and it also marks the start of a whole new chapter in their young lives.

‘Despite all our best efforts, we never really know how they will react until the big day.

‘However Rusty and Yuki took the whole thing in their stride and seemed to relish all the new sights, sounds and smells.’

He added: ‘Their playfighting and stalking games are exactly what they would be doing in the wild and signals the beginning of their independence from mum.’

The Longleat cubs are the first to be born there in almost 20 years, weighing about 2lbs each at birth.

But they are expected to grow to around 10ft in length and weigh about 660lbs (300kg).

The cubs are solely dependent on their mother for the first three months and even after that they will closely follow her and only be fully mature at three to four years. 

The Longleat cubs' (pictured) keeper Caleb Hall said: 'Going outside for the first time is always a key milestone in the development of any cub and it also marks the start of a whole new chapter in their young lives'

The Longleat cubs’ (pictured) keeper Caleb Hall said: ‘Going outside for the first time is always a key milestone in the development of any cub and it also marks the start of a whole new chapter in their young lives’

Mr Hall added: 'Their playfighting and stalking games are exactly what they would be doing in the wild and signals the beginning of their independence from mum'

Mr Hall added: ‘Their playfighting and stalking games are exactly what they would be doing in the wild and signals the beginning of their independence from mum’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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