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Tiger Cubs Enjoy Leaf Encounter

Longleat’s newest arrivals made the most of a break in the winter weather to explore their outdoor enclosure – complete with mounds of leaves filled with tasty treats created by their keepers.

The endangered Amur tiger cubs – the world’s largest big cats – have been exploring their main enclosure for the first time at the Wiltshire Safari Park.

The precocious pair were soon play-fighting among the fallen leaves in the winter sunshine and pouncing on mum Yana.

The male called Rusty and female called Yuki, are part of a European wide breeding programme for the endangered sub-species.

Native to the far east of Russia, the Amur tiger is the largest of the big cats and can weigh up to 300 kg and measure more than three metres in length.

In the 1930s the tigers had nearly died out due to hunting and logging. At one stage it is thought the population fell as low as just 20–30 animals.

Although they are still under severe threat their status was officially changed from Critically Endangered to Endangered in 2007.

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