Published: 00:00, 23 December 2015
| Updated: 14:47, 23 December 2015
Adorable jaguar twins are thriving under the watchful gaze of their doting mum.
The male and female - yellow spotted and black, respectively - passed their first health check at Wingham Wildlife Park near Canterbury.
Mum Luna was not especially large during pregnancy, say park staff, so the arrival of two cubs came as a wonderful surprise.
Luna has already proved herself a loving mother having succesful reared the cubs’ older sister, Poppy, at the park.
Luke Binksin, head of the park’s carnivore section, said: “When Luna had Poppy she was quite big so we were expecting twins that time.
“But this time she looked the same size as before, if not smaller, so it was a really nice surprise for all of us to get twins.”
Mr Binksin added: “It is nice when they have twins to have one of each colour - although it does cause a bit of confusion for people who often think that we have one jaguar and one leopard.”
Confusion stems from the name black panther, said Mr Binskin, which few people realise can refer to a leopard.
Black panther actually describes either black leopards or black jaguars.
But, confusingly, a panther is another name for a puma - a species which is not on record as being black, he said.
The wins, which have yet to be named, were born two hours apart in December 4.
The male cub takes after his father, Loki in terms of colour while the female cub is the same colour as her mother.
Loki and Luna had to live apart for some time while she was rearing Poppy.
But a brand new facility built for the separation of larger animals for health and breeding meant Poppy could move in. allowing the parents to get reacquainted.
Tony Binskin, owner of Wingham Wildlife Park, said: “It took a couple of weeks for them to be seen mating again.
“However it is now obvious that they mated earlier than this - as soon as they went back together again in a discreet location.”
The Binskins said mum and twins will make a public appearance when she is good and ready.
“She is keeping them indoors most of the time at the moment, however visitors can see inside their sleeping quarters,” said Luke Binskin.
“People may be lucky enough to see Luna bring them out in to her outside area, but most of the time you can catch little glimpses of them through the window – It really does just depend on where Luna is hiding them and what they’re up to.
“We really just leave that decision down to her.”
The twins will be named next year with the park inviting suggestions on its Facebook page.