Sumatran Tigers

It's important when you visit our beautiful Sumatran tigers to remember just how precious they are.

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They're a critically endangered species, with only a few hundred left in the wild, so we must do all we can to stop them becoming extinct.

We were delighted when our two adult tigers, Kirana and Fabi, had their latest tiger cub triplets in January 2015, named Kasarna, Jaya and Topan.

Kirani and Fabi also had two healthy cubs in June 2013 named Kasih and Nuir, who later moved to France and Poland in June 2015. Also sisters Nila and Tila, born in October 2011 moved to Le Pal in France and to Heidelberg Zoo in Germany as part of a co-ordinated breeding programme, vital to ensuring the survival of Sumatran tigers.

Sumatran tigers are the smallest of all tigers and their low stance lets them creep up on prey unseen. Their stripes are narrower and closer together than those of other tigers.

You might be lucky enough to see one of our family swimming as we often put meat on a raft floating in the water so they have to swim to it.

They have webbing between their toes, making them superb swimmers.

We hide their food in a way that is not only stimulating for the big cat but also physically demanding, encouraging them to use those big powerful muscles to find their food.

For example, we hoist food up the feeder pole in their enclosure to encourage them to hunt for it as they would for prey in the wild.

Our tigers are registered on the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme which means we work closely with other zoos on conservation breeding projects to hopefully save these beautiful animals for years to come.

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Facts & Info

Interesting facts

Where they live The island of Sumatra, western Indonesia
Habitat Dense forests from the lowlands to the mountains, Sundaland rivers and treat swamps.
Size Length (including tail): up to 250cm; Shoulder height: Up to 60cm
Weight Up to 150kg
Threats Deforestation, habitat loss and fragmentation caused by logging and increased agricultural development – particularly for palm oil plantations. Illegal hunting and poaching - particularly outside of National Park areas.

Species Information

Scientific name Panthera tigris sumatrae
Order Carnivora
Family Felidae
Genus Panthera
IUCN status Critically Endangered
Roles in the zoo

Research (ex situ): This species is part of applied research that leads to evidence-based decisions regarding in-zoo management.

Insurance population: This is a species that is extinct in the wild or is in imminent danger of extinction. We’re helping to manage a breeding programme at Chester Zoo as part of a conservation action plan.

In situ Conservation Ambassador

Species conservation: This is a species for which we have a significant focus on in the wild, as part of our conservation projects and programmes around the world.

Education

Interdependence: This species helps demonstrate that all living things, including humans, live in ecosystems and depend on other living things for their survival.

Human Impact: This species helps demonstrate that human activities are causing serious environmental damage.

Partnerships: This species helps demonstrate that we work in partnerships with other organisations to conserve nature and natural resources.

Chester Zoo: This species helps demonstrate that as a charity Chester Zoo’s mission is to be a major force in conserving biodiversity worldwide.

You! This species helps demonstrate that we can all make changes to help the environment and zoos can help inspire people to do this.