For Release: December 30, 2005
John Gibbons (202) 633-3083
National Zoo’s Three Young Tigers Prepare to Go West
The three young Sumatran tigers at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo will be leaving Washington, D.C., next week for their new home at Landry’s Downtown Aquarium in Denver, Col. The three male tigers, born at the National Zoo on May 2, 2004, are being sent to the Aquarium as part of the Sumatran Tiger Species Survival Plan—a cooperative breeding program among zoos in North America to maintain a healthy and self-sustaining population of Sumatran tigers.
The three brothers, Marah, Jalan, and Besar, have been a popular attraction to Zoo visitors since their public debut at 14 weeks of age. Although they will be missed by Zoo visitors and staff alike, their relocation is an important step in helping to protect the species for future generations. Their mother “Soyono” and father “Rokan” will remain on exhibit at the National Zoo’s Lion Tiger Hill.
Sumatran tigers are found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra in habitat that ranges from lowland forest to submountain and mountain forest. They are endangered; fewer than 500 Sumatran tigers are believed to exist in the wild and 210 animals live in zoos around the world.