Tacoma Zoo Welcomes Malosi, Honolulu’s Male Sumatran Tiger

During February we covered the story of Honolulu Zoo’s male Sumatran tiger named Malosi. Right around Valentine’s Day, Malosi was leaving Waikiki, and headed off to the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington to meet a potential mate.

Malosi’s Arrival

Malosi will have his public debut at the Point Defiance Zoo on Thursday, and organizers plan to give the big cat a special treat; a meatsicle; made of frozen meat, blood and topped with whipped cream, which according to KHON news reported that zookeepers claim tigers love! After being in quarantine for 30 days Malosi had to pass a physical exam. In a report from the News Tribune in Tacoma, Dr. Karen Wolf, the head vet at the Tacoma Zoo, said after his exam, “He looks great. He looks fantastic; I think he will be irresistible to Jaya.”
As we reported in February the coupling of these two Sumatran tigers is an effort to preserve the critically endangered species. During the 20th century the wild native Sumatran tiger population was reduced to approximately 500 due to heavy logging and land development in the small island nation of Sumatra. The two tigers have not been together yet, but they have had the chance to see each other through what zoo keepers call the “Howdy panel,” a steel mesh screen that separates their cages. Letting the animals get acclimated together and meet each other will give the zookeepers an indication of how well they will get along, and will help to avoid the tigers being injured should they not get along very well.

Sumatran Tigers Depend on Malosi

Because of their incredibly low numbers in the wild, and the state of development in Sumatra, the existence of the Sumatran tiger could depend on zoo programs such as this one for survival. Without the captive tigers reproducing the natural numbers could dwindle past the point of recovery, if it hasn’t already passed that point.

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