L.A. Zoo Celebrates International Tiger Day!

Eyes of the Tiger PHOTO CREDIT: Jamie Pham

Eyes of the Tiger

The Los Angeles Zoo is thankful for your support in our efforts to save Sumatran tigers.

The Sumatran tiger subspecies—represented at the L.A. Zoo by male tiger CJ—is listed as Critically Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as they face an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild. Continued agricultural habitat destruction, poaching, and killing of tigers that come into contact with villagers, all intensify the crises surrounding tigers. As of 2008, it was estimated that between 340-500 Sumatran tigers were living in the wild, in protected and unprotected areas, with population trends decreasing.

The Sumatran is the smallest of the remaining subspecies of tigers. The male is slightly larger than the female with a more “bearded” appearance. They range in size from seven to nine feet in length and may weigh from 220 to 380 pounds. Their long black stripes provide camouflage in the dense forest, and the webbing between their toes make them fine swimmers. Tigers rely on acute eyesight and hearing and a good sense of smell for catching prey.

Like most wild cats, Sumatran tigers are solitary animals that live within marked, carefully guarded territory. In the wild, hunting begins at dusk and is by no means easy: tigers may travel more than 20 miles to find suitable prey, and will successfully catch their target only one out of every ten or twenty attempts.

The average life span of Sumatrans in the wild is 15 years, but they may live into their 20s in captivity.

Sumatran Tiger CJ Cools Off PHOTO CREDIT: Jamie Pham

Sumatran Tiger CJ Cools Off