Tiger Cub Berani Makes Outdoor Debut
April 19, 2002
Sharon Wright / 202-673-0209
Smithsonian's National Zoo Sumatran Tiger Cub Makes His Outdoor Debut for Media at Great Cats Outdoor Habitat
The Smithsonian's National Zoo's seven-month-old Sumatran tiger cub, Berani, will be on view daily at Great Cats outdoor habitat.
Wednesday, April 24 at 9 a.m.
Great Cats exhibit located on the Rock Creek side of the National Zoo, near Zoo parking lot "D." Media are to park in lot "D" and take Olmsted Walk up the hill to the Great Cats exhibit.
Sumatran tiger Soyono and her cub, Berani
Senior curator John Seidensticker
Tiger keeper Marie Magnuson
Since Dec. 27, 2001, Zoo visitors had been viewing Berani in an indoor lass-fronted enclosure he shared with with his 8-year-old mother Soyono at the Zoo's Great Cats exhibit. With the onset of warmer weather, visitors are now able to see Berani and his mother in a natural, outdoor environment when temperatures are above 50 degrees.
Sumatran tigers are highly endangered and births in zoos are rare. Fewer than 500 survive in the wild, and about 250 live in 85 zoos in Indonesia, North America, Europe and Australia. Like all responsible zoos, the National Zoo raises tigers or gets them from other zoos. To prevent inbreeding, pairings are determined by population managers working through the American Zoo and Aquarium Association's Sumatran Tiger Species Survival Plan. Berani's mother Soyono was born here in 1993. The father, Rokan was born at the San Antonio Zoological Garden and Aquarium in 1990 and was transferred to the National Zoo for breeding with Soyono. The goal of all tiger conservation breeding plans is to ensure that zoo tigers don't become inbred and that wild tigers and their habitat are protected.
Berani and his parents are ambassadors for wild tigers. As we celebrate these splendid great predators, they constantly remind us that this endangered species needs space to live in the wild. Natural habitats in wild Asia where tigers still live are also highly endangered. The National Zoo is committed to understanding and encouraging landscape patterns and processes that enable wild tigers andother large mammals to coexist with their human neighbors.
This unusual great cat, weighing between 200 and 300 pounds
when full grown, is the smallest of the five surviving
tiger subspecies and is adapted to its Indonesian island
home. These tigers have a distinctive coat that is primarily
dark orange with numerous, narrow black stripes.
With the arrival of spring weather, Zoo parking lots fill early. Visitors should take Metro's Red Line to the Woodley Park/Zoo/Adams Morgan or Cleveland Park stops.