Celebrating tigers!

It’s Global Tiger Day and all eyes will be on our critically endangered Sumatran big cats, Daseep and Joao.

Thanks to Karen Edwards for the grrrr-eat photo

DZG’s charismatic pair will be helping us raise awareness about the plight of their cousins in the wild – where there are shockingly less than 400 of their beautiful sub-species left on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Curator Richard Brown, said: “We’re proud to be associated with Global Tiger Day again this year as we highlight the threats tigers face in the wild.

“Numbers are now so low that it’s imperative that we do all we can to help as a future without this magnificent species is unthinkable.”

Senior Keeper, Sarah Evans, gets ready to give the tigers their tea!

Four year-old Joao and five year-old Daseep, who is ranked as the world’s second most important female in the genetic pool, are matched as part of an international breeding programme to help keep species gene pools alive.

Richard added: “Any sustainable captive population serves as a safety net against extinction and with such low wild tiger numbers, their threats which include trophy hunting, oriental medicines and habitat destructions are sadly very real.”

Join our Presenters for their 1pm talk at the Tecton enclosure, when they’ll be explaining about the vital conservation efforts being taken, before Daseep and Joao enjoy some enrichment from keepers.

We’ll have an information board and tiger biofacts by the enclosure, while there’ll also be a display board in the Discovery Centre, where our younger visitors will be able to colour-in tiger pictures.

And help us raise funds over the next three days for 21st Century Tiger, who are once again using our gorgeous Daseep as their poster girl for this year’s campaign.

The initiative supports conservation projects who are working to eliminate major threats to tigers.

Customer Services Team Member, Lottie Horne

Visitors to the zoo today can take part in a raffle for one lucky visitor and a guest (who must both be aged over 16) to give the tigers their tea later this afternoon.

While keepers will be manning an information stand by the enclosure and selling raffle tickets over the weekend for visitors to win one of the Safari Shop’s best selling Daseep luxury cushions, worth £19.99.

Global Tiger Day is an annual event which began in 2010 to highlight the plight of wild tigers.

A century ago nine sub-species of tigers, thought to number around 100,0000, once roamed the earth.

Within the last 70 years, three of these sub-species are now extinct, with less than 3,200 of the entire tiger population thought to be living freely in the wild.