Sumatran tiger, Lola, is pregnant, expected to give birth this summer. OKC Zoo participates in AZA breeding program for this critically endangered species to ensure its survival as there are less than 500 Sumatran tigers in the wild.
The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden is proud to announce that its female Sumatran tiger, Lola, 10, is pregnant and due to give birth this summer. The OKC Zoo participates in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan® (SSP) for Sumatran tigers which made the recommendation for Lola to breed with mate, Kami, 14. The Zoo is committed to helping protect Sumatran tigers and sustain their population through its participation in the AZA’s SSP for this critically endangered species. This is Lola’s second pregnancy with Kami. The pair welcomed male triplets in July 2017.
“This pregnancy is great news for Sumatran tigers and we are anxiously awaiting Lola’s due date,” said Tyler Boyd, OKC Zoo’s curator of carnivores. “Through our involvement with the AZA’s SSP for Sumatran tigers, the OKC Zoo is helping strengthen their population while further raising awareness for the conservation of this incredible species and its habitat.”
Lola’s birth on July 9, 2011 marked a historical event for the OKC Zoo as she and her three siblings were the first litter of Sumatran tigers to be born at the Zoo! Six years later on her birthdate, July 9, Lola gave birth to her first litter, which was three males – Eko, Gusti and Ramah. Days after giving birth to her triplets, Lola became a foster mother to a female Amur tiger cub, Zoya. Zoya, now 4, was born at the Philadelphia Zoo and her mother did not have the maternal instincts to care for her, so Zoya was cross-fostered with Lola’s triplets. This was the first documented case of cross-fostering tigers of a different subspecies among AZA zoos. Per a breeding recommendation from the AZA Species Survival Plan® (SSP) for Amur tigers, Zoya relocated to the Roosevelt Park Zoo in Minot, North Dakota, and this March she gave birth to three cubs. Eko and Gusti have also relocated to other AZA zoos per recommendations from the SSP for Sumatran tigers and Ramah resides at OKC Zoo’s Cat Forest habitat.
OKC Zoo’s veterinary and carnivore care teams confirmed Lola’s pregnancy through ultrasounds. Following an approximately 100-day gestation, she is expected to give birth this summer. According to Lola’s caretakers, she is healthy and they will be working closely with the Zoo’s veterinary team to monitor her pregnancy through ongoing exams and ultrasounds. Lola voluntarily participates in medical care behaviors such as ultrasounds through positive reinforcement training, making it a comfortable experience for her.
Sumatran tigers are critically endangered with only an estimated 500 individuals living in the forests of Indonesia. Their survival is seriously threatened by habitat loss driven primarily by the cultivation of palm oil plantations and by illegal hunting. In addition to supporting the AZA’s SSP for Sumatran tigers, the OKC Zoo committed to protecting this species through a partnership with Rainforest Trust, a conservation organization whose mission is to work with local partners to purchase and protect threatened tropical forests. Using funds donated by OKC Zoo guests through the Zoo’s Round Up for Conservation program, Rainforest Trust purchased 13,000 acres of rainforest in central Sumatra. This lowland forest is rich in biodiversity and is now designated as a protected area, safe from conversion to palm oil plantations and logging and patrolled to prevent illegal activities, such as poaching. Some of the Zoo’s most popular and endangered species, including Asian elephants, Sumatran orangutans and Sumatran tigers, are found here.
OKC Zoo is expecting a baby boom this summer and fall! Look for updates regarding our moms-to-be including chimpanzee, Nia, okapi, Kayin and Sumatran tiger, Lola, on the Zoo’s social media.
The Oklahoma City Zoo is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily with the last entry no later than 4 p.m. Connect to wildlife and tons of fun as you experience the all new BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise at the OKC Zoo. Sponsored by Devon, BRICKLIVE features 45+ life-sized animal statues made with almost two million toy bricks! BRICKLIVE Animal Paradise is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. now through October 30, 2022. Purchase advance tickets for general Zoo admission and BRICKLIVE at www.okczoo.org/tickets. Located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35, the OKC Zoo is a proud member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the American Alliance of Museums, Oklahoma City’s Adventure District and an Adventure Road partner. Regular admission is $12 for adults and $9 for children ages 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Stay connected with the Zoo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linktree and TikTok, and by visiting our blog stories. To learn more about Zoo happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.org.