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Cuddly tiger cubs debut in style on their first outing

GRAND ENTRANCE: One of the new tiger cubs from Australia Zoo on the way to the Zoo and Aquaria Association Queensland branch annual conference at the Grand Pacific in Caloundra.
GRAND ENTRANCE: One of the new tiger cubs from Australia Zoo on the way to the Zoo and Aquaria Association Queensland branch annual conference at the Grand Pacific in Caloundra. Darryn Smith

IT ISN'T very often you spot two striped guests with sharp teeth crossing the front desk at the BreakFree Grand Pacific, Caloundra.

Yesterday was the first outing for Australia Zoo's two-month-old Sumatran tiger cubs, affectionately known as Spot and Stripe until they're officially named.

The cubs showed their true star spirit as they were filmed, snapped and watched from every angle at the Zoo and Aquaria Association Queensland Branch annual conference.

Australia Zoo head of tigers Giles Clark said the cubs would bring $1.5 million by the time they reached six months to the conservation program.

Mr Clark said it was huge for the cubs to be out and about for exposure to the community.

"You see how the room changes when they arrive...people respond," he said.

He said it was really important to give them a high level of stimulation and it changed the tune of the conference.

The cubs were only introduced to the world last week, moving to their new enclosure from the Zoo's cub facility.

Mr Clark said they were right at home at their new enclosure at the Zoo.

"They love it, they're taking it all in their stride," he said.

ZAAQ is the industry body for Queensland Zoos and Aquaria where members work to share information to better the industry, from conservation programs through to tertiary education and staff development.

The conference was a way to share the conservation work at the Zoo as Sumatran tigers are critically endangered with fewer than 400 remaining the wild.

A Zoo spokeswoman said the cubs were possibly the most significant births for the program in recent history.

Topics:  australia zoo, editors picks, tiger cubs


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