Tiger cubs named after children’s TV stars

25 September 2014

Blackpool Zoo’s tiger cub twins have been named after presenters on the UK’s longest running and best loved children’s TV progamme Blue Peter.

The three-month-old adorable stripy duo have been called Barney and Radzi and the presenters were delighted when they found out live on air earlier this month.

Keepers even matched the cubs to each presenter’s personality. Barney’s namesake is a cheeky chappy who is playful, bossy and mischievous whilst the feline Radzi is quieter and a more chilled out character who is described by keepers as a mummy’s boy.

Roger Shillabeer, who is responsible for looking after the two new tiger cubs, said: “It has been more than 18 years since we have heard the pitter patter of tiny stripy feet here at Blackpool Zoo, so we were delighted when mother, Alyona, gave birth to healthy twins.

“They are our little superstars so we wanted to give them names to reflect this.

“Generation after generation have grown up watching Blue Peter and it is the most celebrated children’s TV programme in the world, so naming the cubs after two of its current presenters not only recognises this but will act as a reminder of the year that the cubs were born.

“Barney and Radzi are doing fantastically well, and are now enjoying the outside paddock with mum and dad. The cubs will play a vital part in the species’ breeding programme, we are looking forward to watching them thrive.”

The cubs were born during the night on June 11th to mum Alyona and dad Zambar.  Alyona joined Zambar in 2012 from Safaripark Beekse Bergen in the Netherlands. Zambar has been at Blackpool Zoo since 2010 and was born and hand-reared at Marwell Zoo after being rejected by his mother.

The Amur tiger is the largest member of the big cat family and is an endangered species. They are found in isolated populations around the Amur river valley in the far east of Russia and on China’s north east border. The wild population continues to be under threat due to habitat loss.


Picture shows: Barney and Radzi the Amur tiger twins

More information about Blackpool Zoo

Blackpool Zoo announced record figures for the fifth consecutive year in 2013 as it continued with investment in facilities and attractions, introduces new species and enjoys success in international breeding programmes for endangered animals.

Visitor numbers were up 10 per cent, school visits seven per cent, internet bookings saw an 55 per cent increase, membership sales rose by 10 per cent, which all led to a 12 per cent rise in revenue.

Blackpool Zoo is owned by Parques Reunidos, the second largest European leisure parks operator and a leading world-wide player. The zoo is home to over 1,500 mammals, birds, reptiles and invertebrates set amidst thirty-two acres of mature woodland and lakes.

The zoo’s signature animals include elephants, giraffes, big cats, gorillas, orang-utans, sea lions, primates, zebras and kangaroos. It is open every day of the year, apart from Christmas Day, from 10am.

For further information please contact:

Paula Holden or Abi Blundell at ICG on 01772 679383 or email [email protected] or [email protected]

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