Our conservationists have welcomed a special new arrival – a critically endangered Sumatran tiger, named Dash!

The three-year-old Sumatran tiger has travelled to the zoo from Fota Wildlife Park in Ireland on an IMPORTANT MISSION to help to protect his species from extinction.

Dash has been identified as a genetically compatible mate for the zoo’s resident female, Kasarna, who was born at Chester in 2015.

Our carnivore experts hope that the pair will hit it off and together go on to play a part in a vital conservation breeding programme, which is battling to help save the highly threatened species.

“Dash is a handsome, confident young tiger and he’s quickly settled into his new surroundings. He’s been carefully matched with female tiger Kasarna, based on his age, character and genetics. We’re hopeful that they’ll soon strike up a close bond and, one day, go on to have cubs.”

Mike Jordan, Director of Animals and Plants

Mike continued to say:

“Sumatran tigers are exceptionally rare. Sadly their wild population continues to feel enormous pressure from mass-scale habitat loss, poaching and human-tiger conflict. Their prospect of survival is hanging by a thread. The endangered species breeding programme, run by Europe’s leading conservation zoos, is a vitally important part of the international effort to ensure these magnificent animals are here for generations to come. Every single cub could be critical to its future.

“Without conservation efforts like these, the future for the Sumatran tiger may soon look similar to that of Javan, Caspian and Balinese tigers, which heartbreakingly are all now extinct. We have it in our power to stop that from happening and we’re going to do everything we can to ensure it doesn’t.”

The Sumatran tiger is listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with just 400 estimated to remain globally. In the wild it’s found only on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia where as little as 7% of its original habitat now remains.

In addition to our efforts to preserve Sumatran tigers through our conservation breeding work in Chester, we’re also fighting to mitigate human-tiger conflict in India and Nepal to improve the outlook for the Bengal tiger.

Dash can be found alongside Kasarna in the bamboo forest area of Islands, where you can experience your very own conservation adventure across six South East Asian islands.

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