Amba, whose name was announced Friday, makes an appearance at the Valley Zoo in Edmonton in December. ((CBC))

New tiger cubs at Edmonton's Valley Zoo will be named Taiga and Amba, city officials announced Friday.

The names were picked out of more than 1,000 entries in a contest launched by the zoo last month.

In separate entries, Vivian Nelson, 10, from Edmonton and Lane McMartin, 9, from St. Albert, submitted the same names for the Siberian or Amur tiger cubs.

Taiga is the forested area where the Amur tiger lives in Russia.  Amba is the name of a Russian conservation program to protect the tigers in the natural habitat.

The children have won a guided tour of the tiger building and a closeup viewing of the cubs.

The two female cubs arrived at the zoo late last year and were first displayed to the public on Dec. 30.


Taiga, whose name was also announced Friday, is shown here in a recent photo. (City of Edmonton)

Amba and Taiga are three and six months old respectively.

The zoo's only Siberian or Amur tiger, Boris, died from a respiratory infection in October.

In the spring, the zoo is getting an older female tiger, which has been retired from a breeding program and has raised many cubs.

Siberian or Amur tigers are a critically endangered species. The numbers of tigers that remain in the wild are estimated to range from 330 to 370, according to the latest city news release.