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They may be only six months old, but the Auckland Zoo's Sumatran tiger cubs already enjoy wrestling playfully with their mum and each other.

Zoo staff yesterday celebrated Jalur, Berani and Cinta's first Christmas, as part of an annual festival.

Born in June to mum Molek, the cubs, which were part of a 10-year breeding plan, were a blessing for the zoo and for worldwide conservation efforts, as fewer than 300 Sumatran tigers remain in the wild.

Members of the public were called on to name them.

The name of the largest male cub, Jalur, means stripes in Malay.

The second male cub's Indonesian name, Berani, means spirited, brave or courageous.

The female cub's name, Cinta, means love in Indonesian. She has the most advanced co-ordination and motor skills of the trio.

The Christmas at the Zoo event, hosted by Studio 2's Matt Gibb and Dayna Vawdrey, last night featured live entertainment, face painting, slides, a bouncy castle and a visit from Santa and his Christmas fairies.

- NZ HERALD STAFF