Britain’s most-loved wildlife attraction, Chester Zoo, recently took a critically endangered tiger into its care in the hopes of creating a breeding pair.
The Sumatran tiger was taken in by the zoo’s conservation team from his former home at the Fota Wildlife Park based in Ireland. Named Dash, the young tiger is just three years of age but was identified by Chester’s carnivore experts as a potential mate with suitable compatibility for Kasarna, Chester Zoo’s resident Sumatran female.
Born in Chester Zoo back in 2015, Kasarna is a key component of the attraction’s crucial conservation breeding programme designed to help highly threatened creatures across the world in their battle against extinction.
Director of Animals and Plants at Chester, Mike Jordan, commented:
“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.”
He added that the conservation team is hopeful that then two tigers have a close bond that will lead to cubs in the future.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed the Sumatran tiger as Critically Endangered after estimating that there are only 400 remaining globally, and establishing that only 7% of the tiger’s natural habitat remains.
Visitors to Chester and those who live within the city can now visit Dash and his partner Kasarna at the zoo’s bamboo forest area of “Islands”, where they can participate in a personal conservation adventure through six South East Asia islands.