Point Defiance Zoo is welcoming a new Sumatran tiger on Wednesday and staff hope his presence will result in new cubs.
Malosi, a male tiger from Honolulu Zoo in Hawaii, is coming to Tacoma to breed with Jaya, the zoo’s female tiger and mother of the two tiger cubs born in 2010. Malosi – whose name means strong and powerful in Samoan – is three years old. He has not yet fathered a litter of cubs.
“We’re very excited about Malosi’s arrival and the pair’s potential to produce cubs,” said general curator Karen Goodrowe Beck. “The Sumatran tiger is critically endangered and we are working hard to protect and boost the population of this extraordinary species.”
There are about 200 Sumatran tigers in zoos around the world, including 70 in the United States. Point Defiance Zoo has three of the tigers: Jaya, her year-and-half old cub Bima and his father Bali.
This tiger sub-species is native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra. But poaching have caused the wild tiger population to dwindle to fewer than 300. Breeding tigers helps sustain the zoo-based population and raise public awareness about the importance of conserving the tigers in the wild.
Photo courtesy of Point Defiance Zoo