The Sumatran tiger is not only the smallest of the five remaining tiger subspecies, it is also one of the most endangered. In order to raise awareness and contribute to global conservation breeding programs for the Sumatran tiger, the Taronga Zoo of Sydney, Australia will open expanded tiger facilities in 2017.
The Sumatran Tiger Experience will transport zoo visitors to the Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra, which is home to a portion of the world’s wild Sumatran tiger population. As guests travel through the new tiger exhibit trail, they will learn about wildlife research and the key conservation issues that threaten tigers in the wild.
Part of the tiger viewing area will be enclosed within a ranger outpost, which will also feature several unique educational opportunities. Zoo staff will teach guests about tracking and identifying tigers, and this education will also be incorporated into an interactive mobile app, which will be launched with the opening of the exhibit.
Taronga Zoo will also have three times as much living area for its Sumatran tiger population, which will help the zoo to grow its breeding program. The tiger complex will include a maternity den for future mothers at the zoo. With fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, every birth for this species at the Taronga Zoo and other zoological facilities is crucial.
While exploring the new tiger habitats, guests will also be educated about threats to wild tigers and what they can do in their everyday lives to protect these animals. Elements of the exhibits will showcase the negative impacts of deforestation, and educational displays throughout the area will discuss the palm oil crisis and the illegal wildlife parts trade, which are also pushing tigers closer to extinction.
The new tiger exhibit is the first portion of Taronga Conservation Society’s “Taronga Zoo Visitor Experience” capital campaign, which outlines projects and improvements coming to the zoo for the next ten years.