TIGERS AT DRAYTON MANOR
By Ann Evans
A pair of critically endangered Sumatran tigers, Dua and Dora have found a new home at the award winning Drayton Manor Zoo and theme park in Staffordshire.
These rare animals which are classified as critically endangered on the IUCN conservation red list, are usually found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. They are one of the smallest tiger subspecies, with males weighing 100 – 140 kg and females weighing 75 – 100kg. They have distinctly darker fur, and thicker stripes than others in the same species.
Their daintiness means that they are able to move through their native jungle with ease. However, don’t let the small size fool you, as Sumatran tigers are still ranked top of the food chain in the jungle and have no natural predators in their native environment.
It’s thought that there are less than 400 Sumatran tigers left worldwide, and managers at the zoo are keen to get Dua, a 10 year old male and Dora, a 4 year old female to breed, and so far so good as the duo have settled in very well, and seem to have taken a liking to each other.
Joyce Roberts, Zoo Manager, said: “We are extremely happy to have welcomed Dua and Dora and we are positive that they will be a fantastic addition. Both are in very capable hands with my experienced, hard-working team here at the zoo, and we all have our fingers crossed for some Sumatran tiger cubs, to help preserve the species of this fascinating animal.
“Sumatran Tigers are threatened in the wild due to factors such as habitat destruction and sadly, poaching for their beautiful fur. My team and I will ensure that Dua and Dora are very happy, and we know they will be a popular with our visitors.”
The zoo is proud to be a member of an international breeding programme and a member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, which ensures it maintains the highest standards of care and promotes good breeding practices. The 15-acre attraction is also involved in conservation projects worldwide, and supports charities such as the World Parrot Trust, World Owl Trust and 21st Century Tiger.
Drayton Manor Theme Park is an open plan attraction, so visitors don’t have to pay an additional fee for entry into the zoo which is also home to a mischievous meerkat mob, a pair of endangered black leopards, and many troops of monkey species.
For full details, visit: www.draytonmanor.co.uk.