Auckland Zoo is gearing up to celebrate a very special first birthday on Saturday for its three Sumatran tiger cubs.

The celebrations will feature live entertainment, tiger encounters and face painting.

Male cubs Jalur and Berani, along with sister Cinta, will join their parents Oz and Molek for the party.

"The cubs represent a new genetic line for Sumatran tigers and it is hoped they will go on to breed and have cubs in zoos around the world. With less than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild the threat of extinction by 2020 is very real," said Auckland Zoo conservation fund officer Peter Fraser.

The party will run from 9.30am to 3.30pm, with the cubs being presented with their presents and birthday cake at 10.30am.

Normal zoo admission rates apply.