April 17, 2013
Sumatran tigers Indah and Bugara arrived at the zoo in February, and on Wednesday, zoo keepers allowed the cats to explore Tiger Forest for the first time in preparation for the zoo’s opening day on Saturday. Read about the cats’ arrival from the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco, Texas here.
Zoo staff members gathered to see how the one-and-a-half-year-old brother and sister would react to their new surroundings. Indah was the first to walk the long chute that connects the indoor holding to the wooded outdoor exhibit. “Indah was much braver than her brother,” said Indonesian Rain Forest Area Manager Tanisha Dunbar. “She definitely took more risks.”
Once in the exhibit, Indah immediately investigated the pond, viewing windows, and every tree trunk. Meanwhile, Bugara was more cautious. “He was startled by the construction that was going on nearby,” said Dunbar. Once he entered the exhibit, Bugara instantly walked to the small viewing window to check out the staff members who had assembled to watch.
After a few minutes, Bugara relaxed a bit, but that’s when the action began. Indah began stalking her brother at every opportunity, crouching behind logs and springing out to chase him. A few times, both cats leaped at each other with all eight feet leaving the ground! Bugara eventually wised up and began looking behind himself every few minutes to make sure Indah wasn’t following him.
Indah and Bugara are amazing representatives of this critically endangered species. Fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers remain in the wild, making zoo cats increasingly important for the survival of the species. Read more about Sumatran tigers here.
Click on the photos below to enlarge to full screen.