Page last updated at 08:15 GMT, Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Endangered tiger cubs born at zoo

Siberian tiger
Between 450 and 500 Siberian tigers remain in the wild

A tiger at a Norfolk zoo has given birth to two cubs - believed to be the first to be born in captivity in England this year.

The two Amur, or Siberian, tiger cubs were born at Banham Zoo on 17 October and are being monitored by infra-red CCTV cameras.

The mother tiger Malyshka is among the most important females in the European breeding programme, the zoo said.

There are believed to be only 450 to 500 of the animals left in the wild.

Breeding of tigers is monitored to ensure that the maximum amount of genetic diversity is preserved.

The female at Banham was received from a Russian zoo in 2006 as a two-year-old and has few relatives within the breeding programme.

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