Video: Cute Sumatran Tiger Cubs Brought to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Two Sumatran tigers were born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park earlier this spring, adding to the critically endangered species' small population of about 400 worldwide. The two cubs, who can't exactly stand on their own legs yet, are currently are being taken care of their mother behind the scenes before the public gets to check them out, which is expected to happen this summer.

In the meantime, the zoo has released some footage that can be seen above. The video was shot when their mother was given a break to stretch her legs so zookeepers could desensitize the cubs to human touch. "We're not actually trying to change them into a pet, we're allowing them to be a wild animal," Senior Keeper Tina Hunter told KPBS. "Involving ourselves in their lives early on makes their life much better in the long run because we can do clinical procedures without immobilizations."

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The two cubs are the 24th and 25th Sumatran tigers to be born at the zoo since 1972. Weighing up to 220 pounds, the species are the smallest of all tigers, and their biggest threat are poachers, according to officials.

Over at the San Diego Zoo (note: this is not the safari park mentioned above), three 11-month-old Amur leopards are now on display. Considered as one of the world's most endangered cats -- only 40 have been documented in the wild -- the zoo is taking them in as part of a collaborative conservation program, officials announced this month. Watch them play below:

Footage courtesy San Diego Zoo. Editing by Henry Cram/KCET

About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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