Over the last few weeks we have seen the arrival of two new Sumatran tigers at ZSL London Zoo. Melati the female tiger, aged four, arrived first from Perth Zoo, Australia. Then two weeks later, the male, Jae Jae made his trip from Akron Zoo in Ohio, USA.
The pair have been genetically matched and specially selected for breeding using the Sumatran tiger stud book to preserve the genetic diversity in zoo Sumatran tigers.
The conservation values of zoo breeding programmes are:
- Ambassadors for fundraising – which benefits wild tigers.
- A wonderful species that can inspire future generations and brings to light the need for conservation.
- Used to train staff and vets for wild tigers.
- Help maintain a population with genetic diversity that can be used in event of a severe decline in the wild.
Although Jae Jae arrived a few weeks after Melati, because of his confidence and boisterous character, he was first to explore his outdoor enclosure, during zoo opening times, just a day after he arrived. Metati is yet to make her zoo debut, but her keepers are expecting her confidence to build with the arrival of Jae Jae.