THE three Sumatran tiger cubs at Flamingo Land are big favourites with visitors. Hundreds gather to watch them at play in the tiger enclosure, chasing each-other and their mum Surya or simply basking in the sun.
There are those, however, who believe that keeping such animals in captivity is wrong.
In an ideal world, that may well be true.
But the reality is that these tigers are critically endangered. There are only between 300 and 550 Sumatran tigers left in the wild – and with the forests in Sumatra disappearing rapidly, their future is precarious. As Flamingo Land zoo manager Ross Snipp puts it: “There is very little wild left”.
Ultimately, the very survival of these beautiful tigers may depend on zoos such as Flamingo Land. We should be thankful for the success of its breeding programme.