Four rare tiger cubs have been born at Longleat Safari Park in Wiltshire, meaning they have the biggest collection of the endangered tigers in the UK.

Keepers at the Park were delighted by the birth of four Amur cubs, the genders of which are not yet known, so they are yet to be named.

Their birth is very important for the international breeding programme to protect the species and the keepers hope that once the cubs have had their inoculations, people will be able to visit them.

Darren Beasley, head of animal operations, said: “We are delighted to make this announcement on the eve of Endangered Species Day – Friday 17 May.

Salisbury Journal: The cubs with mum YanaThe cubs with mum Yana (Image: Longleat Safari Park)

“It is estimated that there are only 450 Amur tigers remaining in the wild making it one of the most endangered animals in the world.

“The birth of four Amur tigers gives a vital boost to the European breeding programme for the species which has, until now, seen just 15 cubs in the previous two years. So far this year, the cubs account for half of all successful Amur tiger births in Europe.”

He continued: “We are overjoyed. This is only the second litter of Amur tigers in Longleat’s history and Yana is a fantastic mum.

“Our carnivore keepers – Amy Waller, Kayleigh Smith, Caleb Hall and Eloise Kilbane – made sure Yana had a birthing box in her house and have been keeping an eye on her as we knew a birth was imminent, but we didn’t expect four.

“Yana had two cubs in 2019 – Rusty and Yuki; Rusty moved to Blackpool last year as part of the breeding programme.”

The four cubs will be fed milk for around six months, before being weaned onto meat.

Amur Tigers usually live 10 to 15 years in the wild and up to 20 years in captivity.