TACOMA, Wash. (AP) — Point Defiance Zoo is introducing a new male Sumatran tiger, in town from the Honolulu Zoo. Zoo officials hope Malosi and the zoo’s female tiger Jaya will produce cubs.
For his public debut on Thursday, the zoo planned to present the 3-year-old cat with a big meatsicle made of frozen meat and blood and topped with whipped cream — which zookeepers insist tigers love.
Zoo general curator Karen Goodrowe Beck coordinates the North American Sumatran tiger species survival plan as part of a global effort to ensure the long-term sustainability of zoo-based tigers.
Point Defiance says there are about 200 Sumatran tigers in zoos around the world, including 70 in the United States. The Tacoma zoo has three: Jaya, her year-and-a-half-old cub Bima and Bima’s father Bali.
The tiger sub-species is native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Poaching and habitat loss have caused the wild tiger population to dwindle to fewer than 300.