• The Irwin's Australia Zoo is growing the numbers of the critically endangered Sumatran tigers with their two new arrivals (Australia Zoo)Source: Australia Zoo
The critically endangered Sumatran tigers have been thriving at Queensland's Australia Zoo, with two darling cubs meeting the public this week.
By
Sophie Verass

12 Apr 2016 - 10:52 AM  UPDATED 12 Apr 2016 - 10:52 AM

Yesterday Bindi Irwin announced that Australia Zoo's Sumatran tiger cubs now have "two of the cutest names on planet Earth".  

On Monday owners of Australia Zoo, Bindi and her mum Terri Irwin and Head of Australia Zoo's Big Cats department Geoff Neubecker introduced boy and girl tiger cubs, Scout and Delilah.

They were named after their local sponsors, with 'Scout' after his sponsor Scouts Queensland, and 'Delilah' a result of a naming competition at her sponsor organisation, Wise Education. These partnerships aim to raise money and bring attention to the plight of Sumatran tigers.  

Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatraeare the smallest surviving tiger subspecies, and can be found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Due to deforestation and poaching their numbers have been rapidly decreasing in the past century, and since 2008 they have been on the IUCN Red List, with only 400-500 wild Sumatran tigers left in the world.

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The two-month-old Scout and Delilah are genetically important and have a significant bloodline, because their mother Kaitlyn is only one of a couple of tigers to be released from Indonesia in the last 30 years, and her mother was a wild tiger. 

The adorable orange stripey balls of fluff will be on display this week so guests can actually meet the baby tigers with their playful personalities. Geoff Neubecker says Delilah is apparently more mischievous and enjoys wrestling her brother, whereas Scout is a bit more affectionate and loves the odd belly scratch. Visitors' entry fees will go toward the protection of Sumatran tigers, and Terri Irwin has said that they have already had interest from overseas tiger-enthusiasts who are travelling from Europe and North America to meet these special baby animals. 

But the good news doesn't stop there. In a surprise announcement, Bindi Irwin also revealed yesterday that Australia Zoo has a third - much younger - tiger cub, who was born on just two weeks ago. This new cub will also be named by a sponsor and start meeting visitors when it reaches 9 weeks.

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