The first-ever fossa pups to be born at Chester Zoo in its 91-year- history are ‘full of confidence’ as they begin to explore the outside world.
Shalo and Isalo are the parents to the 12-week-old triplets, who have spent the first three months of their lives tucked away from the crowds.
The triplets are a welcome addition to Chester Zoo as the mammals are endangered, with only around 2,500 wild fossa remaining.
The animals have ‘vulnerable’ status, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
This indicates the animals are at a high risk of extinction in their natural habitat, due to deforestation in the region.
Native to the forests of Madagascar, Fossa are carnivorous, cat-like creatures with long tails and large eyes.
In the wild they live for around 15 years, reaching an average height of up to 6 ft.
They are distant relatives of the mongoose and hunt for prey such as lemurs, wild pigs and mice.
Zookeeper Rachel Boatwright said: “The birth of Shala’s triplets is a huge cause for celebration.
“Not only are they the first pups to ever be born at our zoo, but their arrival into the endangered species breeding programme will allow us to discover more about their behaviours – from tiny pups all the way to adults.
“This is Shala’s first litter, and while it’s still early days, her three pups are doing great and are now full of confidence as they learn to climb trees and explore together, all under the watchful eye of mum, of course.”