Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium will mark the arrival of 6-week-old Malayan tiger cub "Berani" from Tulsa Zoo and his introduction to 7-week-old Sumatran cub Dumai at a meet-and-greet Wednesday. Both tigers are extremely rare and their subspecies are endangered. It’s unusual to rear different subspecies together.
Sometime tomorrow afternoon, straight from SeaTac International Airport, Berani will be introduced to Dumai for the very first time.
Expect sniffing and nosing around as the two tigers get acquainted. Zoological and veterinary staff from both zoos will be on hand to facilitate a smooth introduction. Members of the public will be able to see the cubs throughout the process.
Species Survival Plan coordinators and zoological and veterinary staff at both zoos have opted to put the two male cubs together for hand-rearing so they could become socialized with and learn tiger behaviors from one another. Each of them was the only cub in a litter, and zoo officials separated their from their mothers when it was clear that intervention was necessary for the health of the cubs.
As few as 300 Sumatran tigers remain in their native habitat on the Indonesian island. There are 74 Sumatran tigers in Association of Zoos & Aquariums accredited zoos in North America; a total of 375 are in five regionally managed programs around the world as part of the Global Species Management Plan. Fewer than 500 are believed to live in the wild.
To learn more about the tigers, the Tiger Conservation Campaign and what people can do to help them, go to www.pdza.org.