There has been a new addition to the Topeka Zoo. Sanjiv, a Sumatran tiger, arrived on August 8th in part of a Sumatran Tiger Species Survival Plan Recommendation.
“Sanjiv came here from the Akron Zoo,” said Brendan Wiley, Director of the Topeka Zoo. “It was based on a recommended breeding transfer as part of trying to pair tigers together with the best chance of increasing genetic diversity.”
Sumatran tigers are listed as a critically endangered species, with only about 400 left in the wild.
“Our goal is to have enough genetic diversity within the population of tigers under human care that we can start re-introducing them back to the wild,” said Wiley.
The Topeka Zoo is also working on making the environment safer for tigers in Sumatra. The zoo helps fund a ranger position in Sumatra to help protect the tigers from poaching and illegal farming efforts. There is a display at the tiger exhibit where guests can see tiger snares that rangers have gathered which were intended to kill tigers.
As far as the transition to the Topeka Zoo, Wiley says Sanjiv is adapting very well.
“I have never seen an animal transfer as comfortably as Sanjiv has done,” said Wiley. “Once he got here he acted like this was just his home.”
Shanna Simpson, Animal Care Supervisor for the Topeka Zoo, says if Sanjiv continues to fit in as well as he has been doing his public debut could be on Friday at the Friends of the Zoo Member Appreciation Night.
Photo courtesy of the City of Topeka.