OKC ZOO CELEBRATES FIRST-EVER SUMATRAN TIGER BIRTHS / 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE October 4, 2011
Tara Henson (405) 919-9038, cell / (405) 425-0219, office / [email protected]
Candice Rennels (405) 412-6172, cell / (405) 425-0298, office / [email protected]
OKC ZOO CELEBRATES FIRST-EVER SUMATRAN TIGER BIRTHS
We are making history at the Oklahoma City Zoo as we celebrate the births of four rare Sumatran tiger cubs, the first-ever births of this species at the Zoo!
The cubs were born on July 9, 2011 to mom Suriya (suh-rye-uh) and dad Raguno (ruh-goon-oh). The litter consists of one male, Leonidas (lee-oh-nie-duhs) and three females; Leeloo, Lola, and Lucy. At their six week health check-up the cubs weighed between seven and 10 pounds each and are now averaging about 30 pounds each. Mom and cubs are doing very well, and can be seen daily in their Cat Forest exhibit yard from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., weather permitting.
“This is a momentous occasion for the Zoo and for the species as a whole,” said Mammal Curator Laura Bottaro. “These beautiful cats are a critically endangered species and every birth enables us to further the health and conservation of the species.”
The birth of these cubs is a great success for the Tiger Species Survival Plan (SSP), which works with accredited members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) to maintain healthy, genetically diverse and demographically stable populations of threatened or endangered species like tigers.
The Sumatran tiger is found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra and is the smallest subspecies of tiger in the world. Males can grow to around 250 pounds, with females closer to 200 pounds. The smaller size and narrower stripes of these tigers allows them to move easily through the jungle and blend in to the tall grasses.
These magnificent cats are a gravely endangered species, with less than 300 remaining in the wild today. Due to agricultural growth in Sumatra, the tiger’s native habitat is shrinking. Illegal poaching and contact with local villagers is also harming native populations.
Conservation action! The Zoo is partnering with the U.S. Postal Service to bring Zoo fans a special opportunity to purchase a new wildlife postage stamp that benefits international wildlife conservation. The Save Vanishing Species stamps will be available at Post Office locations nationwide, USPS.com and the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop (while supplies last.) They will sell for 55 cents – 11 cents greater than a First Class Mail stamp – and $11 for a sheet of 20. Net proceeds from sale of the Save Vanishing Species stamp, which features an illustration of a tiger cub, directly support efforts to save beloved species like rhinos, elephants, tigers, turtles, and great apes – at no cost to American taxpayers.
Follow the tiger cubs on facebook at www.facebook.com/okczoobg.The wild is calling you to the Zoo, Oklahoma’s #1 attraction and one of the top three family-friendly zoos in the nation. Located in the heart of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District, the Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with exhibit buildings closing at 4:45 p.m. All guests must leave Zoo grounds at closing time. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages three to 11 and seniors ages 65 and older. Children two and younger are free. For more information, call (405) 424-3344 or visit okczoo.com