Malosi, a male Sumatram tiger, has arrived at Point Defiance Zoo to help in its breeding program. — Photo courtesy of Point Defiance Zoo
A new male endangered Sumatran tiger has recently arrived as part of the Asian Forest Sanctuary exhibition and breeding program at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington, south of Seattle. Obtained from Hawaii’s Honolulu Zoo, Malosi is there to breed with Jaya, the zoo's female tiger and the mother of the two tiger cubs born in 2010. The importance of the breeding program to the survival of Sumatran tigers and other animals in the Asian Forest habitat is made clear in interpretive signage and presentations within the lush exhibition complex, comprising six separate exhibit areas on five acres.
Conservation of the animals’ wild habitat is stressed, as well. Densely planted but incorporating strategic sightlines for animal viewing, the vast enclosure is as close to an actual sanctuary as you’ll find in an urban zoo. Viewing points, waterfalls, streams, ponds, mineral licks, and bamboo forest are all part of the exhibit, which also features clouded leopards, white-cheeked gibbons, siamangs, lowland anoa, Malayan tapirs, crested porcupines, Asian elephants, and Asian otters.
A 29-acre zoological park, Point Defiance is the only combined zoo and aquarium in the Pacific Northwest and it is the second most visited tourist destination in Pierce County after Mount Rainier. Attracting more than 600,000 visitors a year, the zoo is within the boundary of 700-acre Point Defiance Park, viewpoints within which offer amazing views of Mount Rainier, the Olympic Mountains, and Puget Sound.