HRH The Duke of Edinburgh opens Tiger Territory
Wednesday 20 March 2013
HRH The Duke of Edinburgh opens £3.6m Tiger Territory at ZSL London Zoo
ZSL London Zoo’s brand new Sumatran tiger enclosure has been given the royal seal of approval on Wednesday 20 March, when it was officially opened by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.
Tiger Territory , a £3.6m project, is home to Jae Jae and Melati, Europe’s most genetically important pair of Sumatran tigers who were matched by the global breeding programme for the critically endangered species.
With high hopes for breeding resting on the pair, their cubs would be the first to be born at ZSL London Zoo for more than 15 years. And in what keepers are hoping is a prophetic twist of fate, tigress Melati is the granddaughter of the Zoo’s last tiger cub, Hari.
Representing a wild population of just 300 individuals, Jae Jae and Melati travelled more than 14,000 miles from opposite ends of the earth to be paired at Tiger Territory. The flagship exhibit will now be the base for ZSL’s studbook-holders to match-make Sumatran tigers around the world.
Jae Jae, Tiger Territory's resident male Sumatran tiger
The Zoo’s biggest investment since Gorilla Kingdom in 2007, Tiger Territory has been designed by ZSL’s tiger keepers and conservationists to be the ultimate big-cat habitat. Five times the size of the previous exhibit, with towering trees and a custom-built swimming pool, Tiger Territory will see Jae Jae and Melati flexing every muscle in the 27,000sqft enclosure (2,500sqm) and demonstrating just why tigers continually rank as the world’s most popular animal.
Giving millions of zoo visitors the chance to come face-to-face with these incredible animals and providing a central hub for ZSL’s worldwide tiger conservation work, Tiger Territory will be London’s must-see when it opens to the public on Friday 22 March 2013.