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Hamilton Zoo’s Sumatran Tigers on Friendly Terms

Hamilton Zoo’s Sumatran Tigers on Friendly Terms

14 July 2014

Oz and Sali, Hamilton Zoo’s two Sumatran tigers, are getting to know each other a little better.

The two adult big cats have been getting to know each other in their enclosure over the last few months, after a “tiger swap” with Auckland Zoo last year. The swap saw Oz trade places with Jaka, Hamilton Zoo’s previous male Sumatran tiger.

Hamilton Zoo Director Stephen Standley says the relationship between Sali (aged 6) and Oz (aged 9) has been developing over recent weeks, and signs were good so they were introduced when she came into season late last week.

Mr Standley said the process to introduce the tigers had been delicate: “We were never entirely sure how the two animals would interact.”

“What our keepers are seeing is very encouraging,” Mr Standley says. “The animals seem to be getting on well together and developing a good relationship.”

Mr Standley said it was too early to say for sure if the two tigers would breed successfully, but the long-term intention is to contribute cubs to the WAZA (World Association of Zoos & Aquaria) Sumatran Tiger Global Species Management Plan.

“Little tigers are the end goal and we now have to wait to see if the interaction between Oz and Sali is successful. This would be very exciting for Hamilton Zoo, our visitors, and the species management plan,” Mr Standley says.

There are now fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers remaining in the wild and they are classified as “Critically Endangered” in the IUCN Red List.

Hamilton Zoo is owned and operated by Hamilton City Council and has a focus on inspiring conservation action. It is home to over 600 native and exotic animals and boasts the largest free-flight aviary in New Zealand dedicated to native birds and plants. Open every day, except Christmas Day from 9am-5pm. Visit www.hamiltonzoo.co.nz.


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