Love Is In the Air for Malosi, Honolulu Zoo’s Sumatran Tiger

Malosi is one of the Honolulu Zoo’s beautiful Sumatran Tigers. He was born at the Honolulu Zoo on September 15, 2008 and weighs in at 241 pounds. “Malosi” is a Samoan name which means “strong, powerful”. The tiger is headed to Tacoma, Washington to the Point Defiance Zoo where he will meet a potential mate, Jaya. Zookeepers from both zoos are hoping that the pair will find romance on Valentine’s Day when Malosi is set to arrive in Tacoma. According to an article on Hawaii News Now, “Malosi will be escorted to Tacoma Tuesday by his lifelong Honolulu Zookeeper Kristen Scheidley and by Port Defiance Zookeeper Paul Povey. A Brigham Young University student will join them to collect and record information about stress indicators and ameliorating factors.”

Sumatran Tigers In the Wild

Sumatran tigers are 1 of 5 remaining tiger subspecies on Earth, and since the early 40’s we have lost 3 subspecies to extinction. The Honolulu Zoo’s informational page about Sumatran tigers reveals that at the turn of the century there were an estimated 100,000 tigers roaming our planet, and at present their numbers have dwindled to around 6,000. Humans are the tiger’s main threat in the wild. As towns expand and farmers develop agricultural land, humans constantly encroach on the tiger’s natural habitat. The fate of the Sumatran tigers is a perfect example of this. The small Indonesian island of Sumatra has undergone agricultural growth which has limited wild tiger populations to five national parks and two Game Reserves, leaving the wild population in Sumatra at about 400 individuals.

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