Fota Wildlife Park is delighted to announce the arrival of a new female Sumatran tiger as part of a European Endangered Breeding Programme
Fota Wildlife Park is delighted to introduce to the public a new critically endangered Sumatran tiger named Jambi, who recently arrived from Heidelberg Zoo, Germany, after a transition period when she settled into her new habitat in the Asian Sanctuary.
Jambi has come to Fota Wildlife Park as part of a recommended move from the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria’s (EAZA) endangered breeding programme (EEP) for Sumatran tigers, which Fota Wildlife Park has been involved in since 2014 when the Park received its first Sumatran tigers, a male Denar and a female Dourga. This pair produced two offspring, a female Dharma in May 2017 and a male, Dash in June 2019.
To avoid inbreeding and to maintain as much genetic diversity in the EEP breeding programme as possible, the tigers are often moved between zoological parks to breed with different mates. When Jambi arrived on February 21st as part of an EEP breeding programme move, it also saw Fota’s male tiger Denar transferred to Cottbus Zoo in Germany on the same day to breed with a female Sumatran tiger at Cottbus Zoo.
In mid-2022 the female Sumatran tiger Dourga moved to West Midlands Safari Park and her male offspring Dash, born at Fota, moved to Chester Zoo on the same day. Dash quickly settled in and mated with the resident female Kasarna which resulted in the birth of two cubs on the 7th of January 2023.
The Sumatran tiger is one of the rarest subspecies of tigers in the world and was classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2008. It is estimated that fewer than 350 individuals remain in the wild and therefore, every Sumatran tiger born in zoological parks is so important to maintain an insurance population in case the Sumatran tiger becomes extinct in the wild.
Julien Fonteneau, Lead Ranger, said, “Introducing a new tiger to the current streak is a very specialised process that requires a high degree of training and husbandry. At first, the new tiger must be allowed to acquaint itself with their new environment. Jambi was quiet for the first few days, but she is now a lot more confident, and we have started tong feeding her and doing some basic training. We introduce the tigers through the mesh during this stage, and the three are getting on well. ”
“We are thrilled to welcome Jambi to Fota Wildlife Park,” said Declan O’Donovan, Animal Care Manager. “The animal Rangers are working hard to ensure that she is experiencing a seamless, safe and comfortable transition. The welfare of any animal arriving into Fota is a top priority for us as they continue their critical journey as part of the successful endangered breeding programmes we have been involved in over the past 40 years. We hope Jambi’s arrival will help educate our visitors about species and biodiversity conservation.”
Fota Wildlife Park will celebrate turning 40 in June and is set to announce a programme of live events across the season, including feeding times which have recommenced and are available daily throughout the Park this Saint Patrick’s weekend. There are live events and activities this Easter; see the website for the schedule of activities.
Fota Wildlife Park is open daily from 9.30 am, see the full list of feeding times and upcoming Easter activities on the website.
Image and video credits: Sinéad Donnachie, Fota Wildlife Park