Siberian tiger and white lion cubs frolic with kids in a Crimea safari park as part of a campaign to raise awareness of endangered species. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Over a dozen rare white lion and Siberian tiger cubs were let loose to frolic and play with delighted visitors at a safari park in Crimea's Belogorsk town on Saturday (September 5) as part of a local campaign to raise awareness about the protection of wild animals. Visitors were given the chance to hug and pet the adorable cubs who ran around sniffing their new visitors, climbed over each other and stretched on the grass. Taigan Safari Park director Oleg Zubkov told Reuters TV aimed to raise awareness against the hunting of endangered wild animals. Six rare Siberian tiger cubs and eight white lion cubs garnered 'Oohs and aahs' from visitors who vowed they would stand against animal hunting. Siberian tiger cubs, also known as Amur tigers or Ussuri tigers are the world northernmost tiger species. In the beginning of the 20th century the population of the Siberian tigers was declining with just dozens of animals inhabiting the Russian Far East. By 2015, the population increased to about 500, but scientists still consider the species endangered. According to Zubkov, white lions are also rare and there is hardly more than a hundred of the animal around the world. The Taigan Safari Park, named after the valley it is located in, claims to be the biggest in Europe, occupying 36 hectares (89 acres) of the Crimean steppe. According to the park's website it hosts 83 different animal species. The youngest of the pride playing with visitors on Saturday were four white lion cubs and two tiger cubs that were born in July.