Image: © Zoos SA / Adrian Mann

Tiger Cubs Make Their Debut at Adelaide Zoo


The Animal Facts Editorial Team


April 7, 2023 5:59 pm


Adelaide Zoo, Adelaide, South Australia

The trio of Sumatran tiger cubs born in January at Adelaide Zoo have stepped out in to their enclosure to meet their adoring fans for the first time. Alongside making their debut the zoo announced names for the furry threesome.

Names for the cubs were selected by a long-term supporter, Zoos SA’s staff and volunteers, and the public. The female cubs have been given the Indonesian names Susu (soo-soo) meaning milk, and Marni (mar-ni) meaning loyal and persistent and fittingly also meaning good in Kaurna, the language of the land on which she was born.

Last but not least, the male cub has been named Ketambe (ket-tam-beh) after a village in Aceh. 

“We are just chuffed to welcome the cubs out into the world - the perfect celebration for Easter and the School Holidays,” Zoos SA Chief Executive, Elaine Bensted, said.

“Over the past week, Adelaide Zoo’s carnivore team has been working hard to get the cubs used to life outside of the den, while volunteers and staff assisted as ‘tiger testers’ for the furry felines to get used to crowds.

“There has been a lot of sniffing, playing and exploring and the trio have adapted wonderfully to their new environment.

This is the first time that guests visiting Adelaide Zoo have been able to see tiger cubs, ''Not only are they the first Sumatran Tiger cubs to be born at Adelaide Zoo, their species is critically endangered in the wild.

Less than 400 Sumatran tigers are thought to remain on the Indonesian Island. Their habitat is increasingly threatened by habitat loss and poaching.

Adelaide Zoo support the survival of the Sumatran tiger both through their zoo-based breeding project and through support of Wildlife Asia, which as one of its many projects, operates a tiger patrol team in the Sontang Village, Cubadak, Pasaman District, West Sumatra. 

The patrol aims to protect the tiger population and focuses on working with locals to avoid human and tiger conflict. Members of the local community are employed as forest rangers and help to document illegal activities and track tiger paths.

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Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae)

More on the Sumatran Tiger!

In the forests of Sumatra lurks the smallest subspecies of tiger. Learn more about them with our fact file.

Our Favourite Sumatran Tiger Fact!

The Sumatran tiger is a slow and calculated predator which may stalk its prey for up to 30 minutes before pouncing. Despite all this effort they are still only successful in making a kill once or twice a week.

Image: © Zoos SA / Adrian Mann

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