Image: © ZSL

Tiger Cubs Hit the Pool at ZSL London Zoo


The Animal Facts Editorial Team


June 7, 2023 8:15 pm


ZSL London Zoo, The United Kingdom

Two Sumatran Tiger Cubs have taken to the water for the first time at ZSL London Zoo. Critically endangered cubs Zac and Crispin practiced their swimming skills for the first time this week in their own pool.

Keepers recently filled the pool for the first time and to encourage the cubs to explore the new activity they filled it with floating balls they could play with. Crispin and Zac enjoyed their time in the water under the watchful eye of parents Gaysha and Asim. 

London Zoo tiger keeper John Ho said: “The pond was filled with leaves and barkchip over the cooler winter months, but now that summer has arrived we've transformed it back to a swimming pond for the cub to learn to swim. Unlike most felines, tigers love water and make excellent swimmers thanks to their webbed paws.  

“It’s been amazing to see Crispin and Zac practising their swimming skills for the first time – something that visitors to our first Zoo Nights evening this Friday should be able to spot too, as we reckon the cubs will make the most of the expected heatwave!” 

Sumatran tigers are the most threatened of the tiger subspecies with conservation projects such as the one at ZSL London Zoo playing a vital role in the survival of the species. Unfortunately wild individuals continue to be threatened by illegal hunting and habitat destruction.

ZSL are involved in efforts to save the species in their native Indonesia. ZSL’s SPOTT platform continually assess the environmental policies and practices of palm oil, timber, pulp and natural rubber companies across Indonesia, providing much-needed transparency to the sector. Palm oil and rubber industries are major drivers of habitat destruction.

Tiger Cubs Swimming Lessons at ZSL London Zoo

Image: © ZSL

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Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae)

More on the Sumatran Tiger!

The world's smallest tiger subspecies now numbers just 350 individuals in the wild. Find out what is driving them towards extinction in our fact file.

Our Favourite Sumatran Tiger Fact!

Tigers are one of only two cats that like being in the water. The other is South America’s jaguar.

Image: © ZSL

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