A trio of endangered tiger cubs has made their debut at the Magnetic Hill Zoo in Moncton.
The “toddlers” played and rolled around for visitors Thursday, as their mother Anya watched closely.
The three Amur tiger cubs, which have yet to be named, were born eight weeks ago.
They were initially a litter of four, but one of the cubs did not survive.
“We have had the necropsy results that have confirmed that she was not developed correctly. She had a certain anatomy that just didn’t go perfect,” said Jill Marvin, the zoo’s director.
The other cubs, two males and one female, are healthy and growing fast.
“We have one little boy who is just not quite as adventurous as the little girl […] He is the bigger of them, too,” said Marvin with a laugh.
The cubs’ mother seemed at ease showing off her babies, while their father, Alik, is kept in an enclosure next to the family.
The three cubs will remain at the zoo until sometime this fall when they will be sent to accredited zoos across the country.
Meanwhile, staff at the Magnetic Hill Zoo are trying to name the babies. They’re asking the public to vote from a shortlist of names until July 16 at the city of Moncton’s website or the zoo’s Facebook page.
Some of the choices are Katya, Olyssia and Samira for the female, and Girgory, Luka and Roman for the males.
Those closest to the cubs already have their votes in mind.
“The staff here really seems to like Boris for one of the males,” said senior zookeeper Tiffany Bateman.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, the Amur tiger population is about 540. The animals, which are considered endangered, naturally live in the Russian Far East, northern China and possibly North Korea.
— With files from Shelley Steeves