An encouraging development occurred for the world’s rarest tiger species when a cub was born at Flamingo Land Zoo in North Yorkshire

Yawning widely and licking its paws, this tiny five-day-old tiger cub looks so peaceful as it enjoys a cuddle with mum.

But its birth at a North Yorkshire zoo has caused a great deal of excitement. For the cub is a rare Sumatran tiger – of which there are as few as 400 left in the world.

The tigers, which, other than in zoos, are only found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, are critically endangered.

A Sumatran tiger has given birth at Flamingo Land Zoo following a miscarriage earlier in the year

A Sumatran tiger has given birth at Flamingo Land Zoo following a miscarriage earlier in the year

The rarest tiger species in the world has been given a boost after a cub (pictured left) was born at Flamingo Land Zoo in North Yorkshire

The rarest tiger species in the world has been given a boost after a cub (pictured left) was born at Flamingo Land Zoo in North Yorkshire

‘Critically endangered’ tiger cub is born at Flamingo Land zoo

Yawning widely and licking its paws, this tiny five-day-old tiger cub looks so peaceful as it enjoys a cuddle with mum

This little one, whose sex is still unknown, was born at Flamingo Land zoo, near the village of Kirby Misperton, last Friday evening. It is currently spending some quality time with its mother Surya in a secure tiger den.

Ross Snipp, the zoo’s manager, told the BBC the cub looked ‘very strong’, adding: ‘We would not normally make this announcement so early but we are so proud of our work in this particular field that we wanted to give as many children as possible the chance to see him or her before the schools go back.’

The cub is the fourth Sumatran tiger to be born at Flamingo Land and comes after Surya recently suffered a miscarriage.

Surya and the cub’s father Bawa, who both arrived at the zoo seven years ago to help conservation efforts for the sub-species, had triplets in 2014.

As well as being one of the rarest breeds of tiger, Sumatran tigers are also the smallest. They often measure no longer than 8ft when fully grown, around 2ft smaller than the more common Bengal tigers.

They also have the narrowest stripes of all tigers and are excellent swimmers thanks to webbing between their toes.

Their numbers have plummeted from around 1,000 in the 1970s. Threats to their survival include loss of habitat and poaching, as their skins and other body parts sell for high prices on the black market.

The cub is the fourth Sumatran tiger to be born at Flamingo Land and comes after Surya recently suffered a miscarriage

The cub is the fourth Sumatran tiger to be born at Flamingo Land and comes after Surya recently suffered a miscarriage

Surya (pictured) and the cub¿s father Bawa, who both arrived at the zoo seven years ago to help conservation efforts for the sub-species, had triplets in 2014

Surya (pictured) and the cub’s father Bawa, who both arrived at the zoo seven years ago to help conservation efforts for the sub-species, had triplets in 2014

A night-vision shows the young cub in its den with mother Surya (pictured left)

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