Indiana tiger pair to breed in Honolulu

From staff reports
FortWayne.com
Posted on Mon, Aug. 28, 2006

Two big cats from the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, born in 1999, will be the first Sumatran tigers to give birth at the Honolulu Zoo.

Berani, a 235-pound male Sumatran tiger, and his 187-pound mate, Chrissie, have been approved to have two more litters. They live with another female tiger, Djelita.

The cubs will stay with Chrissie for two years, the same time as in the wild, before being sent to other zoos. A tiger can expect two to six cubs in a litter. Chrissie had three cubs in her first litter.

Breeding the tigers will advance worldwide conservation efforts, as there are only 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild. There are 200 Sumatran tigers in captivity, and 60 in U.S. zoos.

Before the two tigers can breed, however, major changes need to be made to their exhibit space. This creates a problem because female territories don’t overlap. Chrissie and Djelita can never be put together, so they alternate between the exhibit and sleeping stalls.

Each female will have her own space in the new exhibit, while Berani will move between the territories.

After Chrissie gives birth, Berani will be paired with Djelita because males do not participate in rearing cubs.

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