Adelaide Zoo

Adelaide Zoo celebrates stripes on International Tiger Day

Roars, claws and stripy paws

The Sumatran Tigers at Adelaide Zoo enjoyed tasty meat and decorated enrichment to celebrate International Tiger Day on Saturday 29 July.

Male tiger Kembali wasted no time pouncing on his treat-filled enrichment, created by the BEEZA (Behavioural Environmental Enrichment for Zoo Animals) volunteer group.

Mum Delilah and her trio of cubs, now 7 months old, were also involved in the festivities and searched for meat, hidden by keepers, in the habitat.

Senior Keeper of Large Carnivores and Ungulates Arliah Hayward said the celebration was a roaring success, “The cubs are very curious and enrichment is important for our tigers to use natural behaviours that they would display in the wild, such as using their sense of smell to find the meat.”

“Susu, Marni and Ketambe are growing fast but they are still very playful. It’s nice to see visitors enjoying the cub fun.

“They all have unique personalities, with Susu being quieter and more reserved than her sister Marni who is very adventurous. Brother Ketambe is the largest cub but very attentive when asking to play with his sisters.

“While the cubs look similar, there’s more to their stripes than meets the eye and the pattern is unique to each tiger. The stripe pattern is even found on the tiger’s skin beneath the fur.”

With approximately 400 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild, the cubs play an important role in conservation of this critically endangered species.

“It’s very special for the public to see tiger cubs in Adelaide and even more special to be part of the team at Zoos SA playing a part in saving this beautiful species from extinction,” finished Arliah.

In the wild, Sumatran Tigers only survive in pockets of land protected from unsustainable palm oil agriculture. That’s why Zoos SA is committed to working with the Roundtable on Certified Sustainable Palm Oil.

You can help support tiger conservation by spreading the message on the importance of mandatory labelling of palm oil products. Labelling will help consumers identify Certified Sustainable Palm Oil products and drive change through everyday purchases.

Zoos SA supports Sumatran Tigers in the wild through conservation group Wildlife Asia. As one of its many projects, Wildlife Asia operates a tiger patrol team in the Sontang Village, Cubadak, Pasaman District, West Sumatra. The patrol aims to protect the critically endangered tiger population and focuses on working with locals to avoid human and tiger conflict. Members of the local community are employed as forest rangers and help to document illegal activities and track tiger paths.

For more information about Delilah, Kembali and the cubs, visit the Sumatran Tiger page.