White tiger cubs born in Austrian zoo

Four white Bengal tiger cubs presented to the public at the White Zoo in Austria.

AUSTRIA (REUTERS) - A brood of four white tiger cubs was unveiled at the White Zoo in Austria on Wednesday (April 26). 

The cubs - two male and two female, named Falco, Toto, Mia and Mautzi - were born a month ago to Thalie, a six-year-old tigress who originally came from France, and Samir, a nine-year-old male who came to the zoo from Slovakia. 

Mr Herbert Eder, director of the White Zoo, said: "The babies were born on March 22. The length of the birth was about five hours, and they weighed about one kilo(gram) each."

The White Zoo is in Kernhof, about 150km outside the capital Vienna. The zoo is a popular attraction in Austria with white camels, leopards, tigers, owls and even a kangaroo on display. 

Four white tiger cubs are presented at the zoo in Austria. PHOTO: AFP

The Bengal tiger cubs, all confirmed to be healthy, will stay at the zoo for another year after which they will be donated to other zoos. 

"Only zoos. Because we never sell these tigers, we give them to other nice places where they can have a new family, but we never sell them. We wouldn't want these babies to end up in a show or a circus or anywhere like that," Mr Eder added.

White tigers are the result of interbreeding in zoos and are popular with visitors. Tigers typically give birth to two or three cubs, and quadruplets such as those unveiled on Wednesday are not atypical.

In the wild, tiger numbers are rising after years of decline and the World Wide Fund for Nature said there were at least 3,890 last year.