Adelaide Zoo

Adelaide Zoo vets chuffed with Sumatran Tiger health check-up

Adelaide Zoo’s Animal Health Centre team were seeing stripes last week as vets undertook a general health check on 8-year-old Sumatran Tiger, Delilah.

This is the first time the vet team has assessed Delilah under general anaesthetic since giving birth to three healthy cubs in December 2022.

It was a careful process to safely transport the tiger, weighing around 94 kilograms, with an electric vehicle to the Animal Health Centre where a team of Adelaide Zoo’s vets and vet nurses conducted a full physical examination and collected blood samples.

An abdominal ultrasound, including evaluation of Delilah’s reproductive organs, and a series of x-rays to image her spine, were performed with the assistance of vets from The Austin Vet Specialists.

Assistant Curator of Carnivores, Chad Crittle, said the check-up went smoothly and Delilah received a tick of good health from vets.

“We avoided separating Delilah from her cubs while they were young, but now they’re older and more independent we had an opportunity to take Delilah for a quick trip to the Animal Health Centre.

“The vet team carefully checked over Delilah and confirmed the fantastic news that she continues to be healthy.

“With only 400 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild, each tiger is intrinsically valuable for the species’ survival. It’s great that Delilah will continue to be part of the regional breeding program and more cubs may one day be on the horizon at Adelaide Zoo,” said Chad.

Following the examination, Delilah made a quick recovery and was reunited with her cubs, Marni, Susu and Ketambe, the next morning.

“Delilah was reintroduced to her cubs with no issues and the family are all back together for the public to visit.

“The cubs are now 14 months old and have grown so quickly, they are nearly as big as mum!” finished Chad.

Delilah’s three cubs show the real impact Zoos SA is making in the regional breeding program to safeguard this critically endangered species.

Zoos SA also 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.

Each time you visit the Sumatran Tiger family at Adelaide Zoo you are supporting Zoos SA’s work to ensure the species survives for generations to come.