Tigers, tigers burning bright at one year old

Blackpool Zoo's tiger cubs celebrated their first birthday on June 11 - pictured is Barney, who looks like his mother Alyona (photo by Lynne Gorrie)

Blackpool Zoo's tiger cubs celebrated their first birthday on June 11 - pictured is Barney, who looks like his mother Alyona (photo by Lynne Gorrie)

  • The tiger cubs from Blackpool Zoo, Barney and Radzi, celebrated their first birthday
  • Important milestone for endangered species
  • Cubs hare their enclosure with mum Alyona and dad, Zambar
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Haven’t they grown? It’s hard to believe this magnificent pair are just one year old.

The tiger cubs from Blackpool Zoo, Barney and Radzi, celebrated their first birthday on Thursday.

Keepers at the East Park Drive attraction say the brothers have grown up quickly, becoming a star attraction at the zoo and known for being boisterous – sometimes being put in their place by mum, Alyona.

They share their enclosure with Alyona and dad, Zambar, having been born through a careful breeding process to ensure they are pure bred Amur tigers, to maintain the traits and personalities of the breed.

As well as being a big day for the boys, their birthday was an important milestone for their species’ breeding programme as one day they will be moved on to other collections to start their own families.

Adam Kenyon, section head of mammals at Blackpool Zoo, said: “The tiger cubs have come on in leaps and bounds over the past year.

“Radzi was once the quieter one out of the pair but has now come out of his shell and is just as mischievous as his brother, Barney.

“I can’t wait to see how the boys will develop over the next 12 months.

“Our tigers have always been popular with our visitors, even more so since the arrival of the cubs. People love being so close to such an endangered species and the cubs love playing up for the cameras.”

The Amur tiger is the largest member of the big cat family and is an endangered species, threatened by habitat loss.

They are found in isolated populations around the Amur river valley in the far east of Russia and on China’s north east border.

The zoo supports 21st Century Tiger, a charity raising vital funds for conservation projects in seven countries, raising more than £32,000 over the years.

The cubs had to keep up their balanced diet so didn’t have any extra savoury treats for their birthday but enjoyed visits from some of their fondest fans, including photographer Lynne Gorrie, who took these pictures.