For immediate release
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens Welcomes Sumatran Tigers
December 10, 2013 - Jacksonville, Fl -
Two Sumatran tigers are joining the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens this week. Both tigers will reside in the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ highly anticipated 2.5-acre attraction, Land of the Tiger, scheduled to open March 2014.
The pair of Sumatran tigers includes Lucy, a two-year-old female, who arrived at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens from the Oklahoma City Zoo Thursday, Dec. 5. The second Sumatran tiger, Berani, which means “bold” in Malay, the dominant language of Indonesia, is a 12-year-old male expected to arrive Wednesday, Dec. 11, from the Akron Zoo in Ohio. Media is invited to take photos and tour Land of the Tiger on Thursday, Dec. 12, at 10:30 a.m. Please contact Lauren Baker for additional information.
“We are extremely excited to welcome these two important tigers to Jacksonville,” said Dan Maloney, deputy director of conservation and education at Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. “We hope the pair will become proud parents in the very near future. Sumatrans are the last of the island tigers still existing, and Lucy and Berani’s cubs would play an essential role in the survival of their kind.”
Indigenous to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, Sumatran tigers face habitat destruction, fragmentation and poaching, and are considered a critically endangered species, with fewer than 400 existing in the wild today, according to World Wildlife Fund.
Matched as a breeding pair, Lucy and Berani are being transferred to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens based on the recommendation of the Sumatran Tiger Species Survival Plan program, which is key in preserving a sustainable, genetically diverse captive tiger population and is backed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The pair joins three Malayan tiger brothers, who arrived at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens from the Palm Beach Zoo Oct. 28.
A $9.5 million expansion to the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ existing Asia precinct, Land of the Tiger will immerse guests in an Asian experience, offering themed sights, sounds, animals and landscaping. This state-of-the-art habitat provides an active experience for visitors and encourages the natural behavior of tigers, while allowing them to safely roam the attraction through a fortified trail system, designed by PJA Architecture and Landscape Architects of Seattle.
Construction is nearing completion on the precinct’s seven structures, and select vegetation will be planted this week. Other exhibits in this exciting new area will house Asian small-clawed otters, Visayan warty pigs, babirusa, wrinkled hornbills and wreathed hornbills. Land of the Tiger is part of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens’ ongoing $12 million 100-year anniversary campaign. Funds are still being raised for the campaign, which will encompass Land of the Tiger as well as other zoo projects.
About Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens
For nearly a century, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has been dedicated to inspiring the discovery and appreciation of wildlife through innovative experiences in a caring environment. Starting in 1914 with an animal collection that consisted of one red deer fawn, the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens now has more than 2,000 rare and exotic animals and 1,000 plants. It has won national acclaim for its South American Range of the Jaguar exhibit and has the largest botanical garden in Northeast Florida. The Jacksonville Zoo is a non-profit organization and is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). It is open year-round, seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Christmas day and is located on Jacksonville’s north side at 370 Zoo Parkway, one-half mile east from I-95. For more information on the Zoo, visit http://www.jacksonvillezoo.org.