The love story so far...
Wednesday 10 July 2013
You’ve seen their first “date” on ITV documentary The Zoo – now find out how ZSL London Zoo’s Sumatran tigers Melati and Jae Jae have been getting on since the cameras stopped rolling.
Sharing a 27,000sqft home - the Zoo’s brand new Tiger Territory - zookeepers have been keeping a close eye on the two critically endangered residents and are pleased with their blossoming relationship.
Despite getting on well it’s definitely a case of “opposites attract” as both tigers have proven to have very different personalities. Tiger keeper Tony said:
‘Jae Jae is a big ball of fun – he doesn’t do subtle. He goes bounding up to Melati like a little kitten but she’s more of a cautious cat’.
During regular introductions the loved-up big cats have shown their flirtatious sides through throaty growls and noisy chuffing at each other.
Playing an incredibly significant role in the global breeding programme for Sumatran tigers, whose numbers in the wild stand at just 300, high hopes are resting on Jae Jae and Melati, who if successful, will produce the first tiger cubs at ZSL London Zoo for more than 15 years.
Jae Jae and Melati were paired up using the Sumatran tiger studbook, which is managed at ZSL London Zoo. The process of matching takes into consideration each animal’s heritage, to ensure that the most genetically-diverse animals are placed together.