To mark International Tiger Day today, Twycross Zoo has released a video looking back over the last 12 months, since the arrival its two critically endangered Sumatran tigers, Jahly and Sialang.
Jahly and Sialang moved to the Leicestershire zoo in summer 2019, where they were housed in a bespoke multi-million-pound home – one of the largest purpose-built Sumatran tiger habitats in the UK.
Celebrating the tigers’ first anniversary at the zoo, their keepers have shared their most ‘roarsome’ moments over the last year.
The zoo will also be holding a special event this Saturday and Sunday to celebrate International Tiger Day, and visitors are invited to wear their most ‘stripy’ outfit to mark the day.
Families are being encouraged to enjoy a socially-distanced weekend of tiger-themed fun.
There will be a wide range of Covid-19 secure activities, including Finders Keepers, where little ones can search for hidden tiger toys around the zoo and the Earn Your Stripes Activity Trail, which challenges children to search for letters to make up a secret word.
There will also be a Tiger Mascot Meet and Greet, where families can secure a socially-distanced selfie, and children can also put their creativity to the test by drawing their very own tiger on the floor around the zoo.
A year on since the arrival of Jahly and Sialang, the devastating threats that are faced by Sumatran tigers in the wild haven’t changed, according to Twycross Zoo.
They are still classed as a critically endangered sub-species on the IUCN Red List, with less than 400 individuals left in the wild. The main threats that wild populations face include poaching for their bones, fur and whiskers for medicine and trophy, human-wildlife conflict, where humans are encroaching tiger habitats, habitat loss, due to agricultural land use, and climate change which affects the movement and location of tiger prey species.
Whilst the conservation status for tigers in the wild hasn’t changed, organisations built to prevent their extinction are themselves under threat.
According to Twycross Zoo, the financial threat is at its worst and could mean the closure of the 57-year old zoo in the future if it’s unable to recover from Covid-19 – a pandemic thought to have come from the wildlife trade that zoos like Twycross campaign against.
As the zoo embarks on its ‘Summer of Survival’, you can help by buying a ticket, donating online, joining as a member or adopting an animal.
To book tickets for Twycross Zoo’s International Tiger Day Weekend and discover more, click here to visit the website.