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Rare Sumatran Tigers Born at the OKC Zoo

Photo credit: Lisa Lee

On July 9, 2011 the Oklahoma City Zoo welcomed four Sumatran tiger cubs. This is the first time Sumatran tigers have been born at the zoo. The cub’s parents are mom Suriya (suh-rye-uh) and dad Raguno (ruh-goon-oh). There are three females; Leeloo, Lola, and Lucy, and one male, Leonidas (lee-oh-nie-duhs). Mom and the cubs are doing well and can be seen in the Cat Forest exhibit from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., weather permitting.

These births are very important as there are less than 300 estimated to be living in the wild. Sumatran tigers were being well researched but due to political unrest in Indonesia many researchers have been forced to flee. Thankfully, things have improved and much of the research is underway again.

Photo Credit: Leno Kofoed

The Sumatran tiger is the last Indonesian tiger species. Two others have gone extinct, the Bali and Javan tigers. The last observations of the Bali tiger were in the late 1930’s and the Javan tiger was last recorded in 1976. In an effort to protect the Sumatran tiger from suffering the same fate, the World Wildlife Federation and other groups successfully lobbied to have Tesso Nilo, an important Sumatran tiger habitat, declared a National Park.

Photo Credit: Scott Jackson

You can help save the remaining wild Sumatran tigers by purchasing the new Save Vanishing Species stamps, which are available at Post Offices nationwide, USPS.com and the Zoo’s Safari Gift Shop (while supplies last). They are 55 cents- 11 cents greater than a First Class mail stamp. The net proceeds will directly go to helping save species like tigers, elephants, rhinos, great apes, and turtles.

You can help the Oklahoma City Zoo continue their conservation programs by visiting the zoo. You can also make donations to the zoo by visiting their website- www.okczoo.com.


About the Author

Lisa Sharp is passionate about green living, organic food, animals, and natural medicine. She is an environmental activist, green living expert, and consultant. In addition to being the founder and editor of Green Oklahoma, Lisa has a green living blog, Retro Housewife Goes Green. You can follow Lisa on twitter @Retrohousewife5 and Facebook.