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IRWIN`S VISION COMES ALIVE IN STRIPES
News Source: The Courier-Mail (18th September 2007)
by Glenis Green
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THREE new furry bundles of mischief were unveiled for the first time yesterday at Australia Zoo on the Sunshine Coast as the late Steve Irwin's tiger conservation vision continued to turn into reality.

The eight-week-old Bengal cubs joined two adult bengals and three Sumatran tigers to bring the Beerwah zoo's tiger contingent to eight, which big cat supervisor Giles Clark said was "very exciting".

While the zoo was committed to meeting its Australian responsibilities in bringing in more Sumatran tigers as part of a breeding schedule, Mr Clark said the baby bengals had a huge role to play in generating awareness and much-needed resources for tiger conservation worldwide.

Secured from a private zoo in NSW, the cubs will be hand-reared to interact with their handles for public exhibition at Australia Zoo.

Mr Clark said the cubs would play a vital role in engaging the public to help protect the dwindling number of tigers around the world.

Yesterday as the striped furballs frolicked for their first media call, Mr Clark said they would not be on full public exhibition for another week.

"They had their first encounter with the emus this morning," he said. "The emus were excited but the cubs were a bit nervous and sought reassurance from their handlers."

The male cub has already been named Charlie but Mr Clark said the names of the two female cubs would be auctioned off on the zoo's website.


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