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Come on mummy... Play with us!

By The Siberian Times reporter
01 May 2015

Energetic new baby arrivals at Novosibirsk Zoo step outside for the first time.

Stunning images taken by our photographer Vera Salnitskaya show the little animals teasing their mothers in the sunshine.

It was play time at the famous Novosibirsk Zoo when some of the park’s newest additions took their first venture outside. Two white Bengal tigers and two bear cubs were born in the spring litters but until now have chosen to stay indoors.

However, much to the delight to visitors, some of them are beginning to make a regular appearance, with their antics melting the hearts of anyone watching.

Stunning images taken by our photographer Vera Salnitskaya show the little animals teasing their mothers in the sunshine.

Novosibirsk zoo cubs


White tiger cub


White tiger cub


White tiger cub


White tiger cub

'The baby tiger is all about biting and scratching and jumping on its mother from all sorts of angles. ' Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Only one of the tiger cubs – born to 11-year-old male Zao and eight-year-old female Zaika – has dared to venture outside, with the other still slightly apprehensive.

Vera said: 'The baby tiger is all about biting and scratching and jumping on its mother from all sorts of angles. She tries hopelessly to lie down and relax during one of the first warm April sunny days, but the cub is immediately all over her, so sometimes she loses her temper. 

'The little cub doesn't know how to growl yet, and makes very funny noises that make it sound like a crow. It is also clearly scared to stay outside on his own and as soon as the mother tiger gets inside a hut, the baby hurries after her.'

White tiger cub


White tiger cub


White tiger cub


White tiger cub


White tiger cub

'Mother tries hopelessly to lie down and relax during one of the first warm April sunny days, but the cub is immediately all over her, so sometimes she loses her temper.'  Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Zoo director Rostislav Shilo said staff are still unsure of the sex of the new cubs, then joked: 'Well, if you really want to know we may open the cage and you can check it out.'

It is a similar story in the bear enclosure where the playful cubs appear to enjoy teasing their mother.

Vera said: 'I've seen the mother run after her babies and take the initiative playing with them. They are eager to run away and explore the cage, but she pulls them together and makes them sit on her chest, hugging and rocking them.'

Brown bear cubs


Brown bear cubs


Brown bear cubs


Brown bear cubs


Brown bear cubs


Brown bear cubs

It is a similar story in the bear enclosure where the playful cubs appear to enjoy teasing their mother. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

With more than 11,000 animals from 702 species - about 150 of them are from them World Red Book - Novosibirsk Zoo is a popular tourist attraction with almost a million visitors annually, and a noted scientific institution. 

One of the largest in Russia, it boasts a world record in captive breeding programmes for endangered species. Mr Shilo, the zoo’s director since 1969, said that there are only two other self-supporting zoos in the world - in Singapore and in San Diego. 

Among the unusual inhabitants is Ligress Zita, with a lion father and tigress mother. 

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