Get ready Adelaide – Delilah and Kembali’s three little Sumatran Tiger cubs are ready to prowl and growl hello to the world!
The furry trio are set to make their official public debut tomorrow, Friday 7 April, just in time for Easter and the School Holidays.
Set to leave a pawprint on your heart, the adorable cubs have also been given roarsome names thanks to a long-term supporter, Zoos SA’s staff and volunteers, and the public.
The female cubs have been given the Indonesian names Susu (soo-soo) meaning milk, and Marni (mar-ni) meaning loyal and persistent and fittingly also meaning good in Kaurna, the language of the land on which she was born.
Last but not least, the male cub has been named Ketambe (ket-tahm-bay) after a village in Aceh.
“We are just chuffed to welcome the cubs out into the world – the perfect celebration for Easter and the School Holidays,” Zoos SA Chief Executive, Elaine Bensted, said.
“Over the past week, Adelaide Zoo’s carnivore team has been working hard to get the cubs used to life outside of the den, while volunteers and staff assisted as ‘tiger testers’ for the furry felines to get used to crowds.
“There has been a lot of sniffing, playing and exploring and the trio have adapted wonderfully to their new environment.
“We just can’t wait to welcome people into the zoo to see them – it is such a historic milestone for us. Not only are they the first Sumatran Tiger cubs to be born at Adelaide Zoo, their species is critically endangered in the wild.
“For our visitors to have that chance to get up close and connect with a species – that moment is irreplaceable and is one that will last forever.
“We hope that it will spark a love of wildlife and a passion to protect animals and the environment so that our natural world can thrive for years and years.”
Elaine said that visitors will also have the opportunity to meet Susu, Marni and Ketambe during a brand new animal experience – Tiger and Friends.
“If any of our supporters have had the chance to take part in our Panda and Friends tour, Tiger and Friends will have a similar feel of adventure and fun,” she said.
“Guests will join us as the snuggly trio wake up for the day ready to pounce and play, before taking a tour of the zoo to meet some more furry friends and enjoy morning tea at Wisteria Café.”
The Tiger and Friends experience will start from 21 April, however for those eager to get their paws on a spot, tickets are now on sale.
Please remember, the cubs are still only little. This is a big adjustment for them and so they may often get tired and go off for a snooze in the bamboo. We ask that if visitors are unable to see the cubs, please try and visit their habitat again later in the day.
Sadly, the Sumatran Tiger is classified as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List.
It is estimated that there are less than 400 of the species remaining in the wild due to habitat loss, poaching and the human-wildlife conflict.
Sumatran Tigers now only survive in pockets of protected land that is being encroached upon by agriculture for unsustainable palm oil plantations and road building.
Visiting the tiger cub trio and taking part in a Tiger and Friends experience, will not only get you within a whisker of these ferocious felines but also help make an impact for their wild cousins.
As a conservation charity, Zoos SA supports Sumatran Tigers in the wild through conservation group Wildlife Asia, which as one of its many projects, operates a tiger patrol team in the Sontang Village, Cubadak, Pasaman District, West Sumatra.
The patrol aims to protect the 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.
Zoos SA is also working to protect the species by working alongside sixteen other zoo-based conservation and wildlife organisations across Australia and New Zealand to drive the global transition to Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO).
Unsustainable palm oil is found in around half of all supermarket products. Its unsustainable cultivation sees approximately six football fields of pristine rainforest cleared per minute, threatening countless jungle-dwelling creatures.
By switching to using CSPO, consumers know the oil is produced in a way that aims to protect the last remaining habitat for wildlife and preserve the livelihoods of producers.
For more information about Sumatran Tigers, CSPO and how you can shop with purpose; to save endangered species, please visit adelaidezoo.com.au.