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Hamilton Zoo to welcome female tiger from Dreamworld

Hamilton Zoo to welcome female tiger from Dreamworld

14 August 2012

Hamilton Zoo is gearing up for the arrival of a four-year-old female Sumatran tiger from Dreamworld’s Tiger Island next week.

The tiger named Sali, will be arriving at Hamilton Zoo from Australia late on Monday, 20 August, and will spend seven days in quarantine at the facility before settling into her new home.

Hamilton Zoo’s tiger exhibit has been upgraded in preparation for Sali’s arrival, with the $250,000 renovations including a second landscaped exhibit with bathing pool, two new dens for the tigers and an additional fully enclosed holding area.

The Council-owned zoo is already home to 12-year-old Sumatran tiger siblings, female Mencari and male Jaka, who were transferred from Wellington Zoo in March 2001. In the next 12 months, Jaka will be exchanged with a male Sumatran tiger from another zoo who is a better genetic match for Sali to breed with.

Hamilton Zoo Director Stephen Standley says Sali’s transfer is part of an international tiger breeding programme in with both Hamilton Zoo and Dreamworld are involved.

“The international tiger breeding programme involves zoo facilities from around the world to ensure there is a large enough gene pool which in turn means no inbreeding can occur,” he says.

“Genetics is very important; Sali was actually recommended to us by the coordinator of the Australasian Sumatran tiger breeding programme as being a good candidate for breeding.”

Dreamworld Life Sciences Manager Al Mucci says it is common practice for tigers and other animals in captivity to be transported between zoo facilities for breeding, to help create a strong captive/insurance population.

“Dreamworld is very proud to be part of this international breeding programme and is excited to be sending Sali to meet her new mate,” says Mr Mucci.

Hamilton Zoo and Dreamworld are both passionate and committed to saving tigers in the wild, with each contributing a portion of the funds raised through their animal encounters to the cause.

Hamilton Zoo supports 21st Century Tiger, which assists with anti-poaching measures, education, habitat restoration and monitoring in tiger populated regions, and other conservation efforts through its Conservation Fund. Dreamworld has donated $1.4 million to saving tigers in the wild since 2006 – making it the world’s largest zoological contributor of funds to 21st Century Tiger – and also contributes directly to the Phoenix Fund and Flora and Fauna International to protect wild tiger populations.

ENDS

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