Chester Zoo: CCTV records rare tiger birth

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Media captionThe tiger was born at about midnight on Sunday

The birth of a Sumatran tiger cub has been recorded by CCTV at Chester Zoo.

After a pregnancy lasting 150 days, Kirana, a seven-year-old tiger at the zoo, gave birth to two cubs at about midnight on Sunday.

The zoo said it was "incredibly special" as the species is classed as critically endangered, with only 300 to 400 left in the wild.

It is thought it will be several weeks until zoo keepers can discover the gender of the pair.

'Back-up population'

Fabi, the six-year-old father of the cubs, "ups and leaves as soon as she starts to give birth", the zoo said.

A zoo spokesman said Sumatran tigers are "one of the rarest big cat species in the world".

He said: The international breeding programme is vital in terms of creating a viable back-up population to the wild. That's why these new arrivals are so, so important".

Sumatran tigers are the smallest species of tiger in the world. They are only found in the wild on the Indonesian island their name originates from.

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