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Photo gallery and video: Banham Zoo celebrates first birthday of mischevious tiger cubs Yeva and Xenia - with a life-size wild boar pinata

09:00 14 June 2014

The Banham Tigers turn one.

The Banham Tigers turn one.

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2013

The Banham Tigers turn one.The Banham Tigers turn one.

What do you give a mischevious tiger cub for its first birthday?

That’s the question zookeepers at Banham Zoo were pondering in the run-up to the first birthday of their two Amur tiger cubs - Yeva and Xenia.

But for the past few weeks, a team at the zoo have been staying late to prepare the special gift - a life-size pinata of a wild boar, stuffed with tasty treats for the cubs, which will be given to them this afternoon.

Mike Woolham, animal manager at the zoo, said: “The staff have been staying behind after work in their own time to do it. They have really spent a lot of time doing it - and have done an amazing job.”

The Banham Tigers turn one.The Banham Tigers turn one.

The playful felines were born on June 14 last year, as part of an international breeding programme.

They have been a massive hit with visitors, with CCTV footage providing a constant insight in their lives.

According to Mr Woolham, the cubs are just like any other one-year-old feline - full of mischief, with thier parents Kuzma and Sveta often the target of their jokes.

“If you imagine a young cat, that’s what they’re like. They are in that mid-way stage in their life between a tiny cub and adulthood. They are lots of fun,” he added.

Visitors to the zoo have generously donated funds to help tigers in the wild by donating to a collection box near the enclosures.

While the cubs will remain in Norfolk for another year, they will eventually be sent to other zoos around the world to assist the efforts to conserve this endangered species.

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