A pair of endangered Amur tiger cubs – the world’s largest big cats – have ventured outside for the first time at Longleat Safari Park. Although initially cautious, the cubs, a male called Rusty and a female called Yuki, soon overcame their nerves and began exploring their outdoor enclosure, under the watchful gaze of mum Yana.

The cubs’ birth was the first at the Wiltshire safari park for nearly 20 years and keepers are delighted with their progress. “Going outside for the first time is always a key milestone in the development of any cub and it also marks the start of a whole new chapter in their young lives,” says keeper Caleb Hall. “Despite all our best efforts, we never really know how they will react until the big day. However Rusty and Yuki took the whole thing in their stride and seemed to relish all the new sights, sounds and smells. Their playfighting and stalking games are exactly what they would be doing in the wild and signals the beginning of their independence from mum.”

See the family at Longleat’s historic safari park – plan your visit at longleat.co.uk/groups

PHOTO: Rusty and Yuki play on mum Yana’s back at Longleat (photo by Caleb Hall)