Securing a shared future for wildlife and people

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David Kirshner
Sakti the Tiger

As part of the next stage of Taronga Zoo’s much anticipated new development for Sumatran Tigers, today we had to say ‘see you later’ to our much-loved male tiger Sakti as he embarked on his journey  to Taronga Western Plains Zoo. In order to begin the exhibit refurbishments all our Tigers will be leaving later this year and joining Sakti in Dubbo, but we’ll see them again soon enough in 2017 when the brand new exhibit is set to open.

I’ve worked with tigers since 1997. It’s wonderful coming to work with unique exotic carnivores, but working with endangered animals such as Sumatran Tigers on a day to day basis, knowing that there are less than 400 individuals left in the wild is a true privilege. 

Each tiger has its own unique character; no two tiger is the same so we have to treat them all differently. I think they are such beautiful, unique animals so it’s an honour to work so closely with them. Even though I’ve known tigers since 1997, it’s still a rush to say things like, “I have to go do a training session with a tiger now.”

It was very special to see Jumilah born here in 2003 with her two brothers, so to see her become a mother four years ago with the birth of her own three cubs was amazing for me. We hope to continue the tiger breeding program here once the tigers return, so it would be ideal to see one these cubs become a parent in the future and continue to bolster population numbers.  

The new precinct is going to be an expansive exhibit with varied habitat that focuses on messaging for visitors on devastation caused by unsustainable Palm Oil and will educate visitors to show how they can help these amazing animals in the wild. 

We’re looking forward to seeing Sakti return very soon. 

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