Adelaide Zoo

A Stripy Health Check for Sumatran Tiger Cub Marni

Adelaide Zoo’s veterinary team has performed a health check on 10-month-old Sumatran Tiger cub, Marni.

Marni had shown signs of a sore stripy paw, so a special trip to the Animal Health Centre was in order to properly assess the cub.

Under general anaesthetic, the veterinary team undertook a thorough investigation of Marni’s paw, involving a physical examination and taking x-rays.

Vets checked for any abnormalities in Marni’s paws, claws and shoulder joints.

Assistant Curator of Carnivores and Ungulates, Chad Crittle, says x-rays were assessed by an expert radiographer in Adelaide who had good news for the young cub.

“We’re pleased to share the health check found Marni’s sore paw was not a serious injury and was due to minor soft tissue damage.

“After a short course of anti-inflammatory medication and some quiet time in the private den space she has recovered really well and is back to bounding around the habitat.”

As the cubs are still playful, keepers believe Marni strained her paw while playing with her siblings Ketambe and Susu.

“The wellbeing of the animals in our care is our top priority so we were taking no chances with Marni’s paw, but we’re very happy with the outcome.”

As part of our high standard of animal care, the veterinary team conduct health checks on large animals about every three years.

“This examination was also a great opportunity to undertake a general health check-up and Marni is in roaring good health all round,” finished Chad.

Marni means loyal and persistent in Indonesian, and good in Kaurna, the language of the land on which she was born. While she is the smallest of the three cubs, keepers describe her as the most independent and adventurous.

The tiger cubs are not only much-loved by Adelaide Zoo visitors, but also play an important role in the conservation of their species.

Sumatran Tigers are listed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List and it is estimated there are as little as 400 left in the wild.

One of the greatest threats to the Sumatran Tiger is habitat loss due to the unsustainable production of palm oil, an ingredient found in around half of all supermarket products as well as bioplastics, biofuels and lubrication oils meaning it is part of the manufacturing chain for many products well beyond those we find on the supermarket shelves.

That’s why Zoos South Australia works alongside sixteen other zoo-based conservation and wildlife organisations across Australia and New Zealand, to drive the global transition to Certified Sustainable Palm Oil.

The mission of the Responsible Palm Oil Network is to work with Australasian manufacturers to move to using Certified Sustainable Palm Oil and to introduce clear palm oil labelling. Labelling will help consumers identify Certified Sustainable Palm Oil products and drive change through everyday purchases.

As a conservation charity, each time the public visit the cubs at Adelaide Zoo, the community is helping to save this incredible species from extinction.