Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Nothing Says "It's Springtime" Like The Birth of Clouded Leopard Cubs

Clouded Leopard Cubs 2013 - Amiee Stubbs

Nashville Zoo is pleased to announce the births of two litters of Clouded Leopard cubs. On March 26, Jing Jai gave birth to one female cub and Baylie gave birth to one male and one female. All three are doing well and are being hand-raised by the Zoo’s animal care staff.

“Nashville Zoo is a leader in Clouded Leopard conservation, with 18 Clouded Leopards born at our off-exhibit breeding facility since 2009,” said Karen Rice, carnivore supervisor at Nashville Zoo. “These cubs will remain a part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Clouded Leopard population as breeding cats, education or exhibit animals. Whatever role they play, they will contribute to the ongoing conservation effort.” 



Photo credits: Amiee Stubbs


Clouded Leopards are considered endangered because of deforestation, poaching and the pet trade. Nashville Zoo is a member of the Thailand Clouded Leopard Consortium, an ongoing collaboration with the National Zoo, Point Defiance Zoo, Clouded Leopard Species Survival Program and Zoological Park Organization of Thailand (ZPO) to develop a multi-faceted clouded leopard conservation program that includes a viable self-sustaining captive population. 

See more pictures and learn more below the fold...

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Presenting Lilo, Mushu, Grimsby, Basil and Fidget!


The Feb. 26th birth of 5 Meerkat kits, Lilo, Mushu, Grimsby, Basil and Fidget, brings the total Meerkat population at Tacoma, WA's Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to 26. Each new kit is around as heavy as 2/3 of a cup of water! This is the zoo's second batch of kits this month. Zookeepers in the zoo’s Kids’ Zone area say at least one group of adults and kits will be on exhibit for at least half of the day during regular zoo hours.

Meet Frick and Frack, Point Defiance Zoo's Newest Additions

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The Meerkat gangs at Point Defiance Zoo have grown again, and the newest kits – Frick and Frack – are now on exhibit in the Kids' Zone. The two were born to mom Darwin on Feb. 3 and weigh about 140 and 150 grams. That’s around 5 to 6 ounces -- about the same as two-thirds of a cup of water! They will grow to be about 1.5 to 2 pounds each and will measure approximately 14 inches long, not counting the length of their tails.

Meerkats are very social animals, and live together as families known as gangs. Each gang at the Zoo is referred to by the dominant female’s name. So Frick and Frack bring the number of Meerkats in the Darwin gang to seven. There are two other gangs - the Amelia gang of nine and the Huxley gang of five. Each assume roles within the group; Darwin has had help from one or more "babysitters" in the gang, who look after the new babies as they explore and adapt to the habitat. Meerkats belong to the mongoose family and live in the savannahs in the south of Africa.

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Meer duo

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Photo Credit: Point Defiance Zoo

See more of Frick anf Frack after the fold!

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Tiger Buddies Bond at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

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Dumai, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium's 7-week-old male Sumatran Tiger cub, has a new buddy! Berani, a 6-week-old male Malayan Tiger cub, arrived at Point Defiance from the Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum a few days ago.  (Berani is on the left in the above photo.)  Both cubs were the only members of their litter, and they were not cared for properly by their mothers.  As a result, they were removed from their mothers’ care and hand-reared by zoo staff. 

The two cubs are already getting acquainted in the Cub Den at Point Defiance.  They enjoy playful swats, pouncing, wrestling, and snuggling, with plenty of naps in between.  The staff is thrilled that the two cubs are getting along so well.

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ZooBorns has profiled Dumai several times since his birth on August 22.  You can see dozens of photos if this adorable cub on ZooBorns. 

Sumatran Tigers, listed as critically endangered, are the smallest subspecies of Tiger and their fur is a darker orange than that of Malayans.   As few as 300 live in the wild on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.  Malayan Tigers are native to the tropical forests of peninsular Malaysia.   Fewer than 500 remain in the wild.  Each of the Tigers will reach 275-300 pounds when fully grown.

Berani’s move to Tacoma is a fantastic example of the cooperation that exists among zoos to provide the best for each animal in their care.  In this case, the cubs will grow up socializing with another cat, which will better prepare them to enter the breeding programs of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) of the Association of Zoo & Aquariums (AZA). 

Photo Credit:  Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium 

Dumai The Baby Tiger Is About To Make A New Friend


Dumai, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium's Sumatran Tiger cub, is getting a new buddy. Meet Berani, a 5-week-old Malayan male cub scheduled to arrive at Point Defiance this week from Tulsa Zoo and Living Museum. Each was the only cub in a litter and pulled from mom within days of birth because the tiny Tigers were not thriving. Once Berani arrives and is checked out, you will be able to see him in the cub den playing and pouncing with Dumai.

Sumatran Tigers, listed as critically endangered, are the smallest subspecies of Tiger and their fur is a darker orange than that of Malayans. Sumatran Tigers also are the only remaining Tiger subspecies that lives on an island. As few as 300 live in the wild on the Indonesian island.




Photo Credit: Tulsa Zoo and Living Aquarium

Malayan Tigers, a bit bigger, lighter in color and lankier in body conformation, are native to the tropical forests of peninsular Malaysia. The Tiger Conservation Campaign estimates that fewer than 500 remain in the wild.

Each of the tigers will reach 275-300 pounds when fully grown. They’ll eventually be placed into zoo-based breeding populations of their respective subspecies to maintain genetic diversity and increase their numbers.

Bringing the Malayan cub to Tacoma is a wonderful example of the cooperative Species Survival Plan work in action. To learn more about the tigers, the Tiger Conservation Campaign and what you can do to help them, visit www.pdza.org.

The Votes Are In! Point Defiance's Male Sumatran Tiger Cub Has His Name

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You may have met this six-week-old male Sumatran Tiger cub, born at Point Defiance Zoo on August 22, through our ZooBorn.com article on September 13. In our update of September 28 we announced that the zoo was asking the public to help them pick his name by voting for one of six choices.

And the winning name is... DUMAI! Point Defiance sent their thanks out to all who particiapted.

Sumatran Tigers are Critically Endangered. Only an estimated 300 remain in the wild in their native Sumatra, and their births in zoos are extremely rare. Duma can be seen daily on exhibit, exploring and playing daily in the zoo’s Cub Den, along wtih his parents, Jaya and Malosi.

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Photo Credit: Point Defiance Zoo

Update! Tiger Cub Belly Rubs and Bottle Feeding


Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium's endangered Sumatran Tiger Cub that you may have first read about on ZooBorns is growing by leaps and bounds! Born on August 22, he's now over 10 pounds (4.53 kg) at five weeks old.

The Sumatran Tiger is native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra where only an estimated 300 remain in the wild. This little guy can be seen daily on exhibit exploring and playing daily in the zoo’s Cub Den. If you want to help name him, there's only one week left in which to vote, so make sure to pick one of the six names on the list today at www.surveymonkey.com/s/cubname.




Photo Credit: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

See the first video of the cub, taken when he was just three weeks old!

More pictures after the jump:

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Tiger Cub Can Be Seen for First Time This Weekend at Point Defiance Zoo


Jaya, an endangered Sumatran Tiger at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, gave birth to a three pound (1.36kg) male cub on August 22. Zoological staff separated the cub from his mother a few days after birth because he wasn’t getting enough milk, was dehydrated and his temperature was low. Thanks to diligent hand-raising by his keepers, he’s now thriving... and visitors will have the chance to see him on exhibit this weekend!

The cub’s parents, Jaya and Malosi, are both in the rotation of tigers placed on exhibit each day in the zoo’s Asian Forest Sanctuary. All are critically endangered Sumatran tigers, and births in zoos are extremely rare. They are native to the island of Sumatra, where an estimated 300 Sumatran Tigers remain. Their lifespan is 10-12 years in the wild and 18-20 years in zoos. 




Gestation lasts 100-110 days and the average litter size is 2-4 cubs. Cubs weigh a little over two pounds (.90kg) at birth and nurse about 6-10 weeks. By 18 months of age, tigers are ready to be out on their own and hunt their own food. Their diet in the wild consists of deer, tapirs, wild pigs, though tigers will eat anything they can catch. Maturity is reached by 3-4 years of age. They grow up to 7-8 feet (2-2.4 m) in length, are about 2 feet (.60 m) tall at the shoulder, and can weigh 200-275 pounds (90-124 kg).

Tigers are generally solitary animals. Both male and females map out their own territory by spraying urine on trees, bushes, and the ground. The specific range size of the Sumatran Tiger is not known, however the population density is approximately 4-5 adult tigers per 40 square miles (40 kms) in lowland rainforest. Tigers are not very active most of the time, sleeping about 18-20 hours a day. Sumatran Tigers are on cat that enjoys the water and will swim to cool down in the hot jungle.


Photo Credit: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

Baby Skunk Is Stinkin' Cute

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A four-month old baby Skunk is the newest star of the live animal show at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.  Thurston makes his debut this weekend in the zoo’s twice-daily show entitled “Captain Adventure vs. Dr. Do-Nothing: The Quest to Get Outside!”

Thurston has had his scent glands removed to protect the audience from any unexpected skunky outbursts.


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Striped Skunks live throughout North America, where they inhabit forests, grasslands, and urban areas.  They feed on insects, small animals, fruits, grains, and nuts, with their diet varying considerably with the seasons.  When threatened by another animal, Skunks release a very unpleasant odor from their highly- developed anal scent glands.

The zoo’s live animal show features a superheroine, a superdog, a dastardly villain, 13-16 animals and five zoo staff to deliver a message about the importance of getting out into nature. 

Photo Credits:  Point Defiance Zoo & Aquraium

Point Defiance Zoo Steps In To Hand-rear Tiny Sumatran Tiger Cub


Last week, vets and zoological staff at Tacoma, Washington's Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium decided to hand-rear it's then 6-day-old Sumatran Tiger cub. The cub appeared to be losing weight and was not getting enough milk from his mother.

“It’s in his best interest so he can receive round-the-clock feedings with special formula,” head veterinarian Dr. Karen Wolf said. Wolf made the decision to move him from the den box in which his mother, Jaya, gave birth and put him in the zoo’s Animal Health Care clinic after she consulted with zoological staff in the Asian Forest Sanctuary.


Photo credit: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium

About 200 Sumatran tigers live in zoos around the world. They are native only to the island of Sumatra. There are an estimated 300 in the wild.

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