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Woodland Park Zoo Welcomes New Tiger Queen

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: January 20, 2021 12:15 pm

Woodland Park Zoo Tiger queen

Woodland Park Zoo’s first female Malayan tiger, Azul, is ready to meet all of you! 

Photo Credit: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

There is a new tiger queen on the block at Woodland Park Zoo. Azul the Malayan tiger has come to live in Seattle from the Bronx Zoo in New York City and has recently completed her 30 day quarantine period. With this complete she is now ready to meet guests.

Azul was born on January 5th 2016 at the Bronx Zoo. Unfortunately her mother did not provide adequate care and as such it was decided to hand-rear her. This has led to her having an incredibly calm nature.

Azul has a very mellow personality,” explained Animal Care Manager Kim Szawan. “She’s taken very well to her animal keepers here in her new home at Woodland Park Zoo.” 

Woodland Park Zoo Tiger queen
Woodland Park Zoo Tiger queen

Woodland Park Zoo’s first female Malayan tiger, Azul, is ready to meet all of you! 

Photo Credit: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

Eventually Azul will be ready to meet her name mate Bumi. Tigers are solitary in the wild only coming to mate. At Woodland Park Zoo Bumi and Azul will live seperately until they brought together to mate.

Bumi has called Woodland Park Zoo since 2019 and is 10 years old. The pair have been recommended to breed by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums’ Malayan Tiger Species Survival Plan.

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The species survival plan is a cooperative effort with accredited zoos working together to ensure that the population of tigers is healthy and self-sustaining. These programs are led by experts in husbandry, nutrition, veterinary care, behavior, and genetics, Species Survival Plans also involve a variety of other collaborative conservation activities such as research, public education, reintroduction and field projects. 

“Bumi’s genetics are considered highly valuable in terms of representation in the tiger population, which is why he’s been paired with Azul,” explained Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo. “It’s always been part of our long-term plan to eventually have tiger cubs again at the zoo, and we are excited to make that goal a reality.” Woodland Park Zoo hasn’t had tiger cubs since 2006. 

Woodland Park Zoo Tiger queen

Woodland Park Zoo’s first female Malayan tiger, Azul, is ready to meet all of you! 

Photo Credit: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

Six subspecies of Malayan tiger are recognized. Malayan tigers are found in tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests through the southern tip of Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia.

“Conservation is extremely important to me and our family. Tigers especially hold a special place in our hearts.  We need to take care of the world around us or it will not be here for future generations,” explained Havranek. “I feel a very special connection to Azul — I grew up with the Bronx Zoo in my backyard, which is also where Azul was born.” 

The arrival of Azul was made possible with funding from the Rosemarie Havranek, a board member and longtime supporter of Woodland Park Zoo, and her family. This support also funded improvements to the tiger exhibit and support for Malayan tiger conservation.

Woodland Park Zoo Tiger queen

Woodland Park Zoo’s first female Malayan tiger, Azul, is ready to meet all of you! 

Photo Credit: Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren/Woodland Park Zoo

Learn more about Woodland Park Zoo on their website – Woodland Park Zoo

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