Thousands of people have taken to the polls - not to choose the next Prime Minister, but to name Chester Zoo’s tiger cub triplets.
Almost 8,000 votes were cast over the weekend to name the one female and two male Sumatran tigers that were officially sexed by vets and keepers last week.
Two-thirds of voters chose the name Kasarna, meaning beautiful melody, for the female cub and the most popular male choices were Jaya (77%) and Topan (67%). The former means victorious and the latter hurricane.
Born in January to mum Kirana and dad Fabi the rare, three-month-old Sumatran tigers were examined, sexed, weighed and vaccinated by the zoo’s specialist vets and carnivore keepers.
Vet Gabby Drake said the trio are in ‘tip-top shape’.
She said: “Sumatran tigers are one of the rarest big cat species in the world and our new triplets are very special cubs indeed. It’s really important for us to make sure they’re healthy and in good physical condition and we’re happy to report that all three of the cubs have been given a clean bill of health – they’re in tip-top shape.
“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.”
Sumatran tigers are found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. They are the smallest of all tigers and have the narrowest stripes.
Critically endangered in the wild, there are believed to be just 300-400 Sumatran tigers left as they are often targeted by poachers who use their body parts as traditional medicine. Much of their jungle habitat has also been destroyed.