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.
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.