Critically endangered tiger cubs Zac and Crispin had a splashing great time at London Zoo this week, practising their swimming skills for the very first time in their private paddling pool.
The cubs, who will turn one later this month, cooled off in the newly filled pond, playing with giant floating balls under the watchful gaze of parents Gaysha and Asim.
London Zoo tiger keeper John Ho said: “The pond was filled with leaves and barkchip over the cooler winter months, but now that summer has arrived we've transformed it back to a swimming pond for the cubs to learn to swim. Unlike most felines, tigers love water and make excellent swimmers thanks to their webbed paws.
“It’s been amazing to see Crispin and Zac practising their swimming skills for the first time – something that visitors to our first Zoo Nights evening this Friday should be able to spot too, as we reckon the cubs will make the most of the expected heatwave!”
As the sun goes down, join us after hours at London Zoo for an unmissable evening mixing wildlife and London city life. From 9 June - 28 July, the Zoo will open from 6pm - 10pm every Friday, just for adults.
Tigers, like all big cats, are crepuscular, which means they’re most active at dawn and dusk – visitors to the conservation zoo’s evening events, which start this Friday (9 June) will be able to see a different side to the tiger family, as they playfully pounce on warm summer evenings in the capital.
The adult-only events are a chance for grown-ups to have the historic conservation zoo to themselves and make the most of the longer summer evenings, while learning about nature through a packed schedule of special talks and lawn games. All proceeds raised from Zoo Nights tickets support ZSL’s vital science and conservation work across the globe.
Sumatran tigers are the world’s rarest species of tiger, with only 300 individuals estimated to be left in the wild. These beautiful big cats are unfortunately threatened by illegal hunting, as well as habitat destruction in their native Indonesia.
The Sumatran tigers at London Zoo are part of an important global breeding programme for the species, designed to protect and boost their numbers, while the Zoological Society of London, the international conservation charity behind London Zoo, works to protect tigers and other threatened species. For example, by engaging with businesses and industries who work within their natural habitat, ZSL’s SPOTT platform continually assess the environmental policies and practices of palm oil, timber, pulp and natural rubber companies across Indonesia, providing much-needed transparency to the sector.