All Zoo Wants For Christmas, Is New Tigers
Orana Wildlife Park will unveil its newest additions this afternoon – two stunning Sumatran tigers! Reggie and Scout are the only tigers in the South Island.
The 4-year-old big cats were transferred from Australia Zoo, arriving in Christchurch just over a week ago. They have now completed quarantine will make their first public appearance today.
Orana’s Exotic Species Manager, Rachael Mason, says her team is very excited to work with the new arrivals: “Scout and Reggie are beautiful animals. They are very chatty cats, greeting their keepers with a friendly, distinctive tiger chuff. We’ve also seen them cuddling together and grooming each other, positive signs that they are relaxed. They have settled in well and now it is time to let them explore their new outdoor surroundings.”
“Our team is delighted to welcome tigers back to Orana. Our last elderly tiger (Dumai) sadly passed away in February, so we have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of these two boisterous young boys. We have completed a range of upgrades to our tiger habitat, opened in 2006, including erecting new platforms, climbing structures and updating the water features for the benefit of the cats.”
Orana is privileged to be an active partner in the Zoo Aquarium Association Australasia’s breeding programme for this critically endangered species. Sumatran tigers number less than 500 in the wild. They are threatened due to habitat loss as a result of expansion of oil palm plantations, illegal trade and loss of prey.
“Reggie and Scout will be amazing ambassadors for their wild cousins. They will help Orana raise funds for Wild Cats Conservation Alliance, directly contributing to wild tiger conservation, whilst also highlighting the plight of wild tigers and how visitors can help address palm oil deforestation to conserve these magnificent big cats.”
“It is wonderful to have a very positive end to such a tricky year. This is a perfect early Christmas present for our team and I am sure visitors will adore meeting and learning about these magnificent cats,” concludes Rachael.