Zoo wants to breed tigers, and good consumers
SUMATRAN tiger cubs could be born at Wellington Zoo if a new Sumatran tiger due soon produces offspring.
A new male Sumatran tiger from Brisbane’s Australia Zoo is expected within the next few months, says Paul Horton, Wellington’s carnivores and primates life sciences manager.
The zoo will celebrate International Tiger Day on July 29 by preparing for the arrival of the tiger, who will form part of a breeding pair.
He will join three year old female, Senja, who has been at the zoo since June.
Paul says that the tigers are “fantastic creatures”.
“The aim of the game is to pair them up”, says Paul. He thinks that the chances of the two tigers breeding are very good.
Fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers survive in the wild.
The zoo is part of an Australasian breeding conservation programme of Sumatrans through its membership of the Zoo and Aquarium Association.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources has classified the Sumatran as “critically endangered”.
Tiger conservation organisation, 21st Century Tiger, which the zoo supports, describes the main threats to the tiger in the wild as habitat destruction and poaching.
Paul says people living in Wellington can do their bit too. “At Wellington Zoo we encourage action.
“One of the ways people can do that is to think about what they are buying. If you are going to be buying something, make sure that it’s come from a good place.
“One of the ways that you can do that is by choosing FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) approved products.
“They are widely available, no more expensive, it’s just a stamp of approval essentially. It tells you that the wood hasn’t come out of the forest.”
Paul says it is all about people at the end of the day.
“Wellington Zoo is trying to do really positive work with our own community, with the animals that we have here, but also with places and the communities that the animals come from in the wild.
“If we can help them to do some more things to keep tigers in the wild, then we will do it.”
Wellington Zoo provides financial support to 21st Century Tiger, which does community work with people who live close to natural tiger habitat so that tigers are protected from poaching.