Three rare tiger cubs have been born at Chester Zoo this month and hidden cameras have captured some of their first moments.
The tigers were born to eight-year-old Sumatran tigress Krana on January 2, 2015 following a 105 day pregnancy.
Curator of mammals at Chester Zoo Tim Rowlands said: "We're thrilled to kick off 2015 with these special arrivals.
"These tiny triplets who, in June will move to a brand new home in our Islands zone, are now part of a safety-net against the wild population becoming extinct.
"That to me is incredibly humbling."
Sumatran tigers are found only on the Indonesian islands of Sumatra. They are the smallest of all tigers and also have the narrowest stripes.
The sexes of the cubs will not be known for some time and zoo staff are continuing to keep a close eye on the family.
"We had Kirana's due date as January 2 and true to what we thought, she had her cubs in the early hours of that morning," Tim said.
"We were first alerted to them when we heard tiny squeaks coming from their den.
"Initially, we weren't sure of how many she'd had, we just kept seeing flashes of tiny balls of fluff, but we've since spotted that there are three.
"It's still early days, but Kirana is an experienced mum and she's keeping her cubs very well protected.
"She's doing everything we would hope at this tage.
"Sumatran tigers are one of the rarest big cat species in the world.
"That's what makes our tiger trio so incredibly special - they're a rare boost to an animal that's critically endangered.
Earlier this month, a rare baby giraffe took its first steps outside at the zoo.
Take a look at Chester Zoo's top 10 baby animals of last year.
Sumatran tiger facts
- The trio of cubs at Chester Zoo were born on Jan 2, 2015
- Mum Kirana is eight-years-old
- Dad Fabi is seven
- Kirana and Fabi’s last cubs, Kasih and Nuri, are also at Chester Zoo
- Sumatran tigers are found in patches of forest on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia
- The species is classed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as critically endangered in the wild. They are faced with a high threat of extinction due to widespread habitat loss and poaching for their body parts which are used in traditional medicine
- Sumatran tigers are the smallest of all tiger species
- Sumatran tigers are narrower and closer together than those of all other tiger species
- Chester Zoo’s Sumatran tigers are part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme. The zoo works closely with other zoos on conservation breeding projects to try and ensure the ongoing survival of the species.