Displaying items by tag: Tigers


“It is standard in this horrific industry to separate babies from their mothers, and then discard them when they grow too big for handling.” Born Free USA CEO 

Washington, D.C., April 5, 2016 -- In response to a 2012 legal petition filed by Born Free USA, The Humane Society of the United States, World Wildlife Fund, Detroit Zoological Society, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Big Cat Rescue, Fund for Animals, and Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued guidance making clear that exhibitors violate the Animal Welfare Act by allowing members of the public to handle or feed infant exotic cats like tigers, lions, cheetahs, jaguars, or leopards.

According to Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation, “The insatiable demand for cubs and baby primates used at interactive exhibits fuels a vicious cycle of breeding and exploitation. It is standard in this horrific industry to separate babies from their mothers, and then discard them when they grow too big for handling. The USDA's most recent policy decision is a step toward addressing these concerns, but still does not do enough to protect the young big cats, bears, and primates suffering for profit around the nation."

As documented in the petition, dozens of facilities across the country routinely breed and acquire exotic feline species—all of which are listed under the Endangered Species Act—to produce an ample supply of cubs for profit.

“We applaud USDA for taking this first step to put roadside zoos and the public on notice that federal law prohibits using infant cubs for photographic opportunities and interactive experiences,” said Anna Frostic, senior attorney for wildlife & animal research at The Humane Society of the United States, “but it is imperative that the agency take additional action to prohibit public contact with big cats, bears, and nonhuman primates of any age.”

“Both animals and people are put in harm’s way when big cats are used for public contact exhibition; young cubs are particularly susceptible to disease, especially when deprived of necessary maternal care, and cubs quickly grow into dangerous predators that can cause serious injury to adults and children,” said Jeff Flocken, North America regional director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.

In contrast to zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, “there are thousands of big cats in private menageries in the U.S., and these facilities do not have the resources or expertise to safely and responsibly care for dangerous wild animals,” said Ron Kagan, executive director and CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society. 

Conservation professionals agree that endangered and threatened species like tigers, lions, and apes should not be bred for commercial purposes.

The mass propagation of tigers in the U.S. has resulted in a captive population that is nearly twice the number of tigers that exist in the wild. “Cubs used for petting, if they survive, typically spend many years living in substandard facilities and the few who are lucky enough to eventually end up at good sanctuaries typically arrive with medical issues caused by deficient care,” said Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue.

In addition to these animal welfare, public safety, and conservation concerns, “the surplus of exotic animals in roadside zoos and other substandard facilities puts an enormous financial burden on the accredited sanctuaries that provide lifetime care for abandoned and seized animals,” according to Michael Markarian, president of The Fund for Animals.

Investigations have revealed that using tiger cubs for photo ops and play sessions can yield more than $20,000 per month for a roadside zoo, fueling demand for more and more cubs—but once the cats mature, their future is uncertain. “There is just not enough space or resources at accredited sanctuaries to support the demand created by this irresponsible breeding,” said Kellie Heckman, executive director of Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.

Further, “the fate of captive tigers in the U.S. has serious implications for the conservation of tigers in the wild,” said Leigh Henry, senior policy advisor for Wildlife Conservation at World Wildlife Fund. “Strengthened regulation of U.S. captive tigers will help ensure that captive-bred tiger parts don’t enter the black market and stimulate the demand that drives the poaching of wild tigers.”

While there is still much more work to be done to fully address the coalition’s petition to completely prohibit public contact with big cats, bears, and nonhuman primates of any age, this is a significant step forward for the U.S. to improve its oversight of captive tigers and lead by example to encourage other countries, like China, to reduce the demand for tigers and tiger products.

Born Free USA is a global leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to North America the message of “compassionate conservation”—the vision of the United Kingdom-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son, Will Travers. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, www.twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and www.facebook.com/bornfreeusa.

March 23, 2016 LAS VEGAS, NV—According to the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino ticketing office, Dirk Arthur’s Wild Magicshow - the last Las Vegas act featuring exotic animals - has been canceled. Animal Defenders International (ADI) calls the news a welcome victory for the white tigers, snow leopard, panther, and other exotic cats used as props in the controversial show. A local entertainment site,VegasBright,announced the show had “abruptly closed” and refunds are being offered to ticket holders.

ADI previously released videoofthe extreme confinement and environmental deprivation suffered by exotic cats in Dirk Arthur’s Wild Magic show when it opened at the Westgate last year. The exotic cats appear only minutes onstage, but for this endure around six hours a day in tiny travel cages and prop boxes barely larger than their bodies. 

When not performing, the animals are warehoused in a series of small cement and chain link cells in Dirk Arthur’s backyard, in a residential area of Las Vegas. The tigers were observed performing abnormal, repetitive, stereotypic behaviors, which experts consider are indicative of stress and poor welfare.(A tiger’s natural range varies from 12 to almost 300 square miles.)

Dirk Arthur’s controversial show has a history of animal welfare violations, and has been condemned by animal care experts and a former Las Vegas animal illusionist. He has been cited numerous times by the USDA for violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including a 2013 citation for declawing two juvenile tigers and a juvenile lion. Declawing is a painful, often debilitating procedure prohibited by the USDA, that amputates part of each of the cat’s toes and commonly leads to chronic health problems. Arthur has been previously cited for enclosures that are too small to allow cats “normal postural and social adjustments and adequate freedom of movement,” including the ability to exercise. ADI has been urging Westgate to cancel this cruel act.

Jan Creamer, ADI President: “Once the Las Vegas Strip was dominated by acts featuring lions and tigers, but times are changing and the public is turning their back oninhumane entertainment. In recent weeks, we've seen indications Cole Bros. Circus may be going animal-free, Ringling Bros. is taking their elephants off the road, and now Vegas is finally rid of these inherently abusive exotic animal acts. Now it is time for Dirk Arthur to retire these cats to a reputable sanctuary.


The Roar Foundation - The Shambala Preserve
A Birthday Present for Tippi
Hi Everybody!!!!!......I'm having a Birthday on January 19, which is in about four days!!!!......So many people have asked me, 
"What do you want for your Birthday Tippi? Anything special?" I thought for a few minutes and said, "Yes, I know what I want - and it would be special. But it's not for me.It was such a special idea I thought I'd share it with you. You see, I've got too much 'stuff' at this point in my life, and I'm going to be...86!!!!!......Retirement is a four letter word as far as I'm concerned, but, do you know what I would really love????....I've been rescuing the Big Cat since 1973...I have been Founder and President of the ROAR Foundation since 1983 to support The Wild Ones of Shambala. I've been in charge of raising the funds to support these magnificent Big Cats, all born in the U.S. to be sold as a pet or for financial exploitation. This has been an amazing life, one that I would not change a single day of for any pipe dream life of riches and elegance. I've never taken a salary nor have I been paid on any level from the Roar Foundation. 

Last January 9, 2015, I submitted to a 10 hour operation on the vertebrae in my neck. I had seen my MD to stop my constant headaches.  He looked at the MRI and said...."How are you holding up your head???"....I said, "What"? He repeated the question and showed me the evidence of the problem existed in the vertebrae in my neck.  Next minute, I was in the Hospital.....The day after the  operation my truly brilliant Dr. Kavenfar explained it would take a full year before I would be feeling well, and for the anesthesia to leave my body. For 8 to 9 months I would have to wear a Miami neck brace (really attractive) 24/7, yes that means, day and night for at least eight months. After that, it would take another several months for my vertebrae to heal. I still wear the brace at night. Actually it makes me feel secure and safe.
I'm telling you all of this because I'm feeling better. However, this is why you haven't been seeing very much of me the past year. I tried working, several times, but found it exhausting - as much as I didn't want to believe my MD about that long year it would take take for me to feel good again. And I have to remember, I AM beginning the last half of my eighties!!!!!  I keep forgetting that!!!!!
So, this is why I'm going to ask all of you to help me raise $86,000. One thousand dollars for each of my 86 years!!!!! Yes, $86,000 for The Roar Foundation to support the magnificent Wild Ones at the Shambala Preserve, thru the ROAR FOUNDATION in my name...Tippi Hedren!! You could donate any amount, eight dollars, eight hundred dollars, eight thousand dollars, eighty-six thousand dollars....What ever you choose....In my name!! And, we'll put your name on the Birthday Card for Tippi's Birthday Fund!! Just think, you wouldn't have to shop, choose or wrap a present and your gift will be used to keep the magnificent Wild Ones of Shambala in the perfect life to which they have become accustomed, and are so deserving!!!!!
I'm very excited about my birthday this year....because it will all be benefiting the most  important animals in my life!!!!!!
Thank you for reading this and acting upon it....I'm so hoping to see all of you at Shambala this year, over and over again!!!!
With so much love for the Shambala Wild Ones,
Tippi Hedren
President The Roar Foundation
The Shambala Preserve
P.S. I had a wonderful dream last night.....An amazing Angel sent $86,000 in the form of a beautiful check made out to The Roar Foundation for The Shambala Wild Ones.......
Celebrating with Louie and Shur-Kan
Photos © Bill Dow
The Roar Foundation - The Shambala Preserve, PO Box 189, Acton, CA 93510
Trinity Wishes You a Merry Christmas
A Christmas Message From Tippi
How wonderful our world would be if everyone, everywhere, could be as peaceful as we are
here at Shambala.

At this wonderful time of the year, I want to thank you for helping us make this beautiful place possible. We hope you will continue your support for the magnificent Exotic Felines we have rescued.  Please visit us at our afternoon and evening Safaris,  "Adopt a Wild One", and attend other events during the year. You are very important to us!

      Our Holiday Wish for all of you, is a peaceful, loving, bountiful Christmas Holiday!!!!
With all the love the season deserves, 


        From the Shambala Staff, the magnificent beings who live out their lives in "peace and harmony for all beings, Animal and Human",
         and me, Tippi!


Merry Christmas to all, and to all a great year!!!

Tippi Hedren
President The Roar Foundation
The Shambala Preserve

Please Donate

This morning, November 23, 2015, we welcomed three adult tigers recently confiscated by the Dept. of Agriculture from a house somewhere in the State of Ohio....... The tigers have names, the two females, Kendra and Jania, and  the male, Shur-Kan. Other than that, no information has been made available to us, no medical records are available, not even their ages. All three were apparently living together in a small cage. They were all exhausted and unnerved by the long drive from the state of Ohio. They are now in the  quarantine area here at THE SHAMBALA PRESERVE. It will take time for them to relax and feel secure. In a few days our veterinarian Dr. Gay Naiditch will do a work up on them to give us a base on the condition of their health.They will come into the preserve after their month's quarantine which will be approximately Christmas Time. Their introduction to the Preserve will be in the Bus Compound with the river access for them. All of us at SHAMBALA are grateful to be able to give these extremely needy animals a really wonderful, safe life, with the care of humans who really love and care about them.
 I want to take this opportunity to tell all of you how important your support is for the Wild Ones of Shambala. You truly exemplify the spirit of "Thanksgiving"!! Please know your donations to the ROAR FOUNDATION are so gratefully appreciated and are put to such very good use in so many areas!!!!!
From all of us at THE SHAMBALA PRESERVE and THE ROAR FOUNDATION, a most blessed, bountiful, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING to every one of you!!!!!
With love and gratitude!!!!!!!

Tippi Hedren
President The Roar Foundation
The Shambala Preserve


P.S. Photo of Shur-Kan is forthcoming.

Oakland, CA, November 8, 2013…Halloween has passed, but thousands of leftover pumpkins are now becoming sweet treats for Oakland Zoo’s animals. In the last few days, truckloads of donations from local pumpkin patches have been arriving at the Zoo and zookeepers are making sure to put the orange edibles to good use. Zoo guests can see animals feasting on the orange goodies well beyond October. Besides being edible for many creatures, zookeepers transform the pumpkins into enrichment items such as food containers for geese, carved puzzles for meerkats, and play toys for tigers to tear apart. 

“We are thrilled to receive these pumpkin donations each year,” said Colleen Kinzley, Director of Animal Care, Conservation, and Research. “Animals such as elephants, chimpanzees, baboons, goats, and camels enjoy eating and playing with the pumpkins. In the case of others like the lions, bats, geese, and meerkats, we use the pumpkins as feeding devices by carving holes into the pumpkins and hiding treats inside.”

Oakland Zoo would like to thank Moore’s Pumpkin Patch and Holly Prinz of Pick of the Patch Pumpkins. These generous donations will make it possible for our animals to enjoy pumpkin treats for many months to come.  


The Bay Area’s award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid’s activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks. For more information please visit our website at www.oaklandzoo.org.

For more than 75 years, the East Bay Zoological Society EBZS has managed and operated both the Zoo and surrounding Knowland Park for the City of Oakland since 1982. Under its management, the Oakland Zoo presents an award-winning experience for visitors, fosters knowledge and understanding of animals and the environment through educational programs, and has earned national awards and international acclaim for its animal management and endangered species programs. Over the years, exhibit by exhibit, the Oakland Zoo has been reinvigorated and revitalized, making it a place where animals thrive and visitors enjoy. For more information, please visit our website at www.oaklandzoo.org.


















Being President isn't easy! Soon after I founded The Roar Foundation in 1983, I realized that you, our supporters, are the backbone of this organization.  Maintaining the Shambala Preserve is not something one person can do alone, and without your help it would not be possible. I am grateful to my core for your continuing concern and generous donations.

As you know, I seldom cry out for help, but at this crucial time in our economy, I am doing just that. Along with the monthly challenge of raising $75,000 to cover our basic costs, we are now seeing a desperate need for more fire clearance and the rebuilding of some of our compounds to provide safe, secure, life-long sanctuary for the Great Cats who call Shambala home.  The fire clearance quotes we have received are over $1,000.00 per day; and the new compounds (we need ten) are estimated at $100,000 each.

Many of these tasks are not only things we want and need to do, but are items that are being required by the different governmental agencies whom we deal with on a yearly basis.

The Roar Foundation operates solely on private donations including my own. Please consider sending us a donation, designated to The Roar Foundation Priority Fund - whatever you feel in your heart, large or small, will be greatly appreciated. I love these Great Cats more than my next breath, but they are not pets or business associates. I will continue to fight with all that is in me to stop them from being treated as commodities and to make sure that those in our care are allowed to live out their lives in peace and dignity.
Send a check to:
The Roar Foundation
6867 Soledad Canyon Road
Acton, CA 93510
A very warm thank-you for caring, from all of us at Shambala, animal and human.
With Love for the Wild Ones everywhere,
Tippi Hedren
President The Roar Foundation
The Shambala Preserve

This material is being sent at the request of both Ms. Tippi Hedren and The Honorable Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA 25) and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA 46) regarding yesterday announcement about The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act. The passing of this bill will finally mean that captive big cats-tigers, lions, cougars and other species - will not threaten public safety, diminish global conservation efforts, or end up living in deplorable conditions. Congressman McKeon's office contact can be found below. For more information regarding Ms. Hedren's efforts with The Shambala Preserve and The ROAR Foundation, please visit Shambala.org.

McKeon and Sanchez Introduce Big Cats & Public Safety Protection Act Washington, D.C.- Today, Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA 25) and Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-CA 46) introduced H.R. 1998, the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act. The Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act would prohibit private possession of big cats, such as lions, tigers, panthers and cheetahs, except at highly-qualified facilities, like accredited zoos, where they can be properly cared for and restrained. Additionally, since no agency, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), state agencies, or local first responders, currently knows exactly how many dangerous big cats are being kept in private hands, under what conditions, and in what locations, the bill would require any persons who currently possess big cats to register those animals with USDA in order to keep the cats they currently own. The bill would also outlaw the breeding of any big cat except at accredited zoos and research and educational institutions. Violators of the law could have their animals confiscated along with any vehicles or equipment used to aid in their illegal activity, and could face stiff penalties including fines as much as $20,000, and up to five years in jail. The need for federal legislation regulating the sale and captivity of big cats has become dire. An alarming number of wild cats have been bred and sold as domestic pets in the U.S. This trend threatens public safety and often results in the severe mistreatment of these animals. Most recently, the fatal mauling of young intern at a private wildlife park in Dunlap, California, and the tragic events in Zanesville, Ohio in October, 2011, where 49 wild animals were killed after they were let loose on an unlicensed wild animal preserve, showcase the dangerous implications of this rising trend. Currently, only nine states have laws enforcing “no wild animals permitted,” and the remaining states have weak or no laws in existence. This bi-partisan bill will deter the dangerous private breeding, selling and keeping of lions, tigers and other dangerous big cats, and will help keep the public safe. This bill will also help global big cat conservation efforts and will work to ensure that big cats do not end up living in horrible conditions where they can be subject to mistreatment and cruelty. “No matter how many times people try to do it, wildcats such as lions, tigers, panthers and cheetahs are impossible to domesticate for personal possession,” said Congressman McKeon. “These wild animals require much higher living standards compared to a domestic house cat and demand care that most black-market owners are not able to provide for. When accidents happen or when individuals learn they can't take care of these animals, and these wild cats are released into our neighborhoods, it causes panic, puts a strain on our local public safety responders and is extremely dangerous. This bill is a step forward in protecting the public, ensuring that wildcats are not exploited and making sure those that are held in captivity are taken care of humanely in proper living conditions.” “State laws addressing the private ownership and breeding of big cats vary greatly, with some states banning the practice outright while others impose few and partial restrictions,” said Congresswoman Sanchez. “This patchwork of regulations is confusing and it jeopardizes the safety of the public and the welfare of our animals. The Big Cats bill is a federal solution that will clarify these regulations and will lessen the interstate traffic of various species.” This legislation is supported by the Roar Foundation, Shambala Preserve, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), Born Free USA, Humane Society of United States, Big Cat Rescue, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Ian Somerhalder Foundation. Sincerely, Congressman Buck McKeon OFFICE INFORMATION WASHINGTON DC OFFICE 2184 Rayburn HOB Washington, DC 20515 phone: 202-225-1956 SANTA CLARITA OFFICE 26650 The Old Road Suite 203 Santa Clarita, CA 91381 phone: 661-254-2111 PALMDALE OFFICE 1008 W. Ave M-14 Suite E Palmdale, CA 93551 phone: 661-274-9688 Safety Act Talking Points o There are as many as 10,000 big cats kept in private hands, but no one knows exactly how many and where. o The exact number is a mystery because few records are kept. What we do know is that these animals should never be kept as pets. o Just weeks ago, a young woman in Dunlap, CA was attacked by an adult lion while she was cleaning his enclosure. Tragically, the young woman died, and the lion had to be killed by authorities. The incident took place at a facility that breeds and frequently transports its big cats for public display. o In the last two decades in the U.S., dangerous incidents involving big cats have resulted in 22 people being killed (including five children) and nearly 200 being mauled or otherwise injured. The numbers are likely higher as these are only the incidents widely reported by the media. o It costs at least $10,000 a year on average just to feed a big cat, and they need huge spaces to roam. Many big cat owners, even those with good intentions, quickly realize they are in over their heads. o Local law enforcement and other first responders are neither trained nor financially equipped to deal with animals the likes of a 300-pound tiger, and taxpayers must pay the cost when animals escape or otherwise jeopardize the community. o Furthermore, the USDA does not have the resources to adequately inspect big cat licensees and enforce Animal Welfare Act compliance. o Co-sponsor the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act today. Passing this bill would mean an amendment to the Captive Wildlife Safety Act to generally restrict breeding and keeping big cats (lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, and cougars) as pets. Current owners of any of these big cats would just need to register them with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The bill would provide exemptions for the following: zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), wildlife sanctuaries (that do not breed or allow public handling of their animals), wildlife rehabilitators, some research and education institutions, and some traveling circuses. o Unfortunately, reform came too late to Zanesville, Ohio. That's where a backyard exotic animal owner released 38 big cats and 18 other dangerous animals and then took his own life. To protect the surrounding community, law enforcement had no choice but to kill most of the animals. We can't stand on the sideline waiting for the next incident. Don't let your neighborhood be next. You, your family, and these animals all deserve protection. o Passing this bill will finally mean that captive big cats-tigers, lions, cougars and other species-do not threaten public safety, diminish global conservation efforts, or end up living in deplorable conditions

Fierce Beauty Celebrates Endangered Wild Cats with Stunning Photography

SAN RAFAEL, CA, October 2012 – Fierce Beauty is a vibrant photographic celebration of the beauty, power, and grace of the tigers, leopards, lions, ocelots, and other wild cats that inhabit the Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS). This wildlife preserve in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is home to more than one hundred rare animals, from ligers (a hybrid cross between a male lion and a tigress) that stretch nearly twelve feet long to cheetahs capable of running seventy miles per hour.

The intimate photographs in Fierce Beauty showcase these spectacular creatures in a natural setting, revealing their vibrant form and striking personalities and highlighting their significance in the world and the importance of protecting them. The more than three hundred images in Fierce Beauty, which artfully capture playful, tender, and imposing moments with wild cats, are accompanied by essays by such animal-rights luminaries as zoologist and TV personality Jim Fowler and Dakota Zoo director Terry Lincoln, among others, and a foreword by renowned actor and activist Robert Duvall. Discover what makes these animals unique cohabitants of mankind with dozens of exclusive never-before-seen portraits from preeminent nature photographers Tim Flach and Barry Bland.

Fierce Beauty is a treat for wildlife enthusiasts, cat lovers, and photography buffs of all stripes. Proceeds from the book help fund the preservation efforts of the Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (TIGERS).

Bhagavan Antle is the director of the TIGERS wildlife preserve in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and the founder of the Rare Species Fund, which supports animal conservation projects around the world.

Robert Duvall is an American actor and director, starring in some of the most acclaimed and popular films and TV shows of all time. He and his wife, Luciana Pedraza, are active supporters of Pro Mujer, a nonprofit charity organization dedicated to helping Latin America’s poorest women, and of efforts to preserve endangered species, particularly tigers.

Tim Flach, best-selling author of Dog’s Gods and Equus, is a photographer best known for his highly conceptual portraits of animals. His images of animals are a departure from traditional wildlife photography, and he has been described as “a potent example of a commercially trained photographer who’s now reaching a global audience through the boom in fine art photography.” His clients include the Sunday Times, Cirque du Soleil, Sony, Hermès, and the Locarno International Film Festival. His images have twice been featured on UK Royal Mail stamps, and his fine art prints are represented in London by the Osborne Samuel gallery. Leading organizations and publications, including the Association of Photographers, American Photo, Photo District Annual, Communication Arts, Creative Review, and Design & Art Direction, have repeatedly honored Flach. He is the recipient of the International Photography Awards Professional Photographer of the Year.

Barry Bland is an internationally acclaimed photographer specializing in photography of animals both wild and tame. Barry’s work regularly appears in UK newspapers, including the Daily Mail, the Sun, Daily Telegraph, and Independent. In the U.S. he has been published in the New York Post, New York Daily News, and In Touch and People magazines, and his photos have appeared on Oprah, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, and ABC and NBC news.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – It’s official: our 8-week-old Sumatran tiger cub will go on exhibit outside on Friday, April 12! At 14 pounds, the cub is now strong enough to venture into the outdoor enclosure. On Wednesday morning, animal staff supervised a trial run for the very excited mother, Leanne, and cub. A very attentive mother, Leanne immediately carried her to the safest spot, the lower grass moat area. There they were free to play and run back and forth until the cub was ready to explore a bit; Leanne was so happy to be outside with her baby, she frolicked just like a cub too! The cub was naturally drawn to the security of the hay bales below the rock area but she eventually allowed Leanne to lead her up the stairs several times for practice, proving once again that Leanne is a seasoned mother who knows what’s best for her cub.

“Providing the cub the opportunity to explore the outside world is a significant step in her development,” says Curator of Carnivores and Primates Corinne MacDonald. “The cub will build up her strength and confidence watching her mother, Leanne, and she’ll learn from her while navigating her new environment. We are thrilled to finally be able to show our tiger cub off outside to all of her fans!”

Access to the outside enclosure will allow them freedom to enjoy the fresh air of the yard or snuggle in their indoor nest box for some quiet time. To provide visitors with full access to the adorable duo, The Lion House will be open from 2-4pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend. More information about the cub.

Viewing etiquette:

Out of respect for the animals and to support their emotional wellness, the Zoo asks the public to adhere to the following guidelines when viewing the Leanne and the cub:

  • Keep voices low; walk and stand quietly.
  • Do not bang on the glass of the outdoor enclosure.
  • Follow the instructions of Zoo animal staff and security.
  • Remain behind the provided barriers.
  • If the cub and Leanne are in their nest box, feel free to watch their activity (mostly sleeping and nursing) on the live video feed that has been provided in the Lion House; do not make noises to attempt to wake them or disturb them.
  • The Zoo provides no guarantee that Leanne and the cub will be on view during these hours.
  • The Zoo reserves the right to close the Lion House at any time in order to provide a safe and peaceful environment for Leanne and the cub.

# # #

About Sumatran Tigers

The Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris) is classified as Critically Endangered by IUCN and is on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The greatest threat to survival is destruction of habitat, followed by poaching. Currently the wild Sumatran tiger population is estimated at less than 400. As of September 2012, there were 74 Sumatran tigers in captivity at 27 accredited institutions of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) in North America.

From the island of Sumatra, off the Malaysian Peninsula, these terrestrial and nocturnal cats inhabit evergreen, swamp and tropical rain forests as well as grasslands. As the smallest of the remaining subspecies of Panthera tigris, the Sumatran tiger is particularly well suited for life in the deep jungle. The fur on the upper parts of its body ranges from orange to reddish-brown, making it darker in color than other tigers. This helps it to hide within its heavily wooded forest habitat. Also unique to this subspecies are distinctly long whiskers, which serve as sensors in the dark, dense underbrush. Males weigh between 200-350 lbs., and females between 180-300 lbs., with a head to body length of 7.2 - 8.9 feet, and a tail length of 2-3 feet. In the wild, the carnivorous Sumatran tigers eat mainly wild pigs and sambar deer. While at the Zoo, the tigers receive fortified horsemeat, chicken and rabbit. Sumatran tigers are usually solitary and prefer to live alone, except for courting pairs and females with young. Females are sexually mature between 4-5 years and give birth every 2-2.5 years. After a 102-112 day gestation, a typical litter of 3 or 4 is born.

Until recently, there were nine subspecies of Panthera tigris. Three subspecies, the Caspian, Bali and Javan tigers, were deemed extinct between the 1940s and 1970s. Estimates to the six remaining subspecies in the wild are as follows (according to IUCN Redlist): Bengal 1,706, Indochinese less than 2,500, Sumatran less than 400, Amur (Siberian) 360, Malayan less than 750, and the South China tiger is thought to be already extinct in the wild. These remaining subspecies are either listed as endangered or critically endangered.

About San Francisco Zoo

The mission of the San Francisco Zoo is to connect visitors with wildlife, inspire caring for nature and advance conservation action. Nestled against the Pacific Ocean, the San Francisco Zoo is an urban oasis. It is home to over 1,000 exotic, endangered and rescued animals representing more than 250 species and lovely peaceful gardens full of native and foreign plants.

The majestic African Savanna offers a multi-species landscape with giraffes, zebras, kudu, ostriches and more. At Grizzly Gulch visitors can get nose-to-nose with rescued grizzly sisters Kachina and Kiona. Lemurs leap through Lemur Forest, the largest outdoor lemur habitat in the country. Penguin Island is home to the largest colony of Magellanic penguins outside of the wild. The Zoo’s troop of gorillas lives in the lush Gorilla Preserve. Farm animals for feeding and petting can be found in the popular Fisher Family Children’s Zoo. The historic 1921 Dentzel Carousel and 1904 miniature Little Puffer steam train are treasured by generations of visitors. The San Francisco Zoo offers a rich history for its guests, including fun rides, educational programs and exciting events for children of all ages. The San Francisco Zoo is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

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