Page last updated at 09:10 GMT, Tuesday, 16 June 2009 10:10 UK

Tigers burn bright with new cubs

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Highland park unveils tiger cubs

Three rare Amur tiger cubs born at the Highland Wildlife Park, near Kingussie, have been given their first public showing.

The litter are the offspring of two adults transported from Edinburgh Zoo last October.

The pair named Yuri and Sasha have previously reared six cubs.

About 500 are thought to remain in the wild and the park owners - the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland - said the species remains under threat.

The cubs were born in May, but are only now being shown to the public.

Amur tigers, also known as Siberian tigers, live in the forests and mountains of Russia's far east.

Chinese medicine

Some are also found in China and Korea.

Conservation charity Amur says the species' numbers are threatened by poaching and hunting for body parts to make traditional Chinese medicine.

Habitat has also been lost to logging and forest fires.

The Highland Wildlife Park cubs are the latest new arrivals at the site.

In May, two Japanese macaques were the first to be born at the park since the species' introduction to its collection in 2007.

Meanwhile, a team of territorial soldiers, usually charged with building army bases in Afghanistan, have built an enclosure at the site for the UK's only polar bear.

The 75 Engineer Regiment created a four-acre enclosure for Mercedes, who it is hoped will move from her current home at Edinburgh Zoo later this year.



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