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Sumatran tigers: Chester Zoo sexes 'snarly' triplets

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Media captionChester Zoo's rare Sumatran tiger cub triplets get their first check up

Chester Zoo's rare Sumatran tiger cub triplets have been sexed as two males and one female.

The tigers, classed by conservationists as "critically endangered", were born on 2 January to eight-year-old tigress Kirana.

Specialist vets and carnivore keepers handled the snarly cubs during health checks when they were also weighed and vaccinated.

The zoo said the three-month-old trio are in "tip-top shape."

Image copyright Reuters/Phil Noble
Image caption The rare Sumatran tiger cub triplets were born to eight-year-old tigress Kirana in January
Image copyright Peter Byrne/ PA Wire

Sumatran tigers are found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. They are the smallest of all tigers and also have the narrowest stripes.

Gabby Drake, vet at Chester Zoo said: "We're happy to report that all three of the cubs have been given a clean bill of health.

"The cubs were given similar vaccines to those a pet cat receives when it's taken to the vets. Of course, we were much more cautious about handling the cubs than we would be with domestic kittens though.

"We checked them over as quickly as we could before returning them to their mum Kirana. She's a very good mother and fiercely protective of her young charges, so we certainly didn't want to hang around for long."

Image copyright Reuters/Phil Noble
Image copyright Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Image copyright Peter Byrne /PA Wire
Image copyright Reuters/Phil Noble
Image copyright Peter Byrne/PA Wire

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