A pair of endangered leopards are the latest arrivals at Banham Zoo.
Numbers of Sri Lankan leopards in the wild are dwindling – there are less than 1,000 animals surviving in their natural habitat.
And while the zoo has kept the species for many years and have bred them, it was the first offspring of Sariska and Mias.
While keepers were confident Sariska was pregnant, they were unable to predict accurately the expected due date.
She was kept under the watchful eye of senior staff via carefully placed CCTV cameras.
On the night in question, staff were kept waiting until just before 11pm for Sariska to give birth, producing the two cubs within a matter of 10 minutes.
The cameras enable staff to check on mother and young whenever they want without causing any disturbance and report that mother and cubs are doing very wellBanham Zoo spokeswomam
A spokeswoman for Banham Zoo said: “Thankfully, the same CCTV cameras have enabled staff to monitor the cub’s wellbeing since birth, something that wouldn’t normally be possible, due in equal measure to the secretive nature of leopards at such a time and their dangerous nature when protecting their offspring.
“The cameras enable staff to check on mother and young whenever they want without causing any disturbance and report that mother and cubs are doing very well.
“Sariska rarely chooses to leave her cubs for more than a matter of minutes and is only occasionally bringing the cubs into the outside enclosure where guests can see them.
“We are, however, keen to share this success with our guests and have set up a television screen in one of the public shelters at the enclosure so that visitors will be able to view live footage of Sariska and her cubs all day without causing her any disturbance.”