Azul, The First Female Malayan Tiger At Woodland Park Zoo
The beautiful Azul, a Malayan Tiger, is the newest addition to the brood at Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. Azul was one of the first animals in the world to be diagnosed with COVID-19 last spring while living at the Bronx Zoo. While there is an inherent risk in transferring an animal from one zoo to another, Woodland Park is not worried about Azul transmitting the disease to other animals. The 6-year-old feline weaves effortlessly throughout her new home after spending 30 days in standard quarantine under the watchful eye of the veterinary care team. Showing no signs of stress from her recent move from the Bronx Zoo in New York, she is now healthy, strong, and bouncing with life.
Azul’s Background Information
Azul, the Malayan Tiger, was born in January 2016 at the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Bronx Zoo and made its first public debut with her sister, Nadia, at the popular Tiger Mountain exhibit. In the days following the birth, the mother was not providing suitable maternal care. The Bronx Zoo keepers had to intervene and put matters into their own hands by raising the cubs until they were fully weaned, as the first few months of the cub’s life are critical; tiger cubs are born blind and are completely dependent on their mother. According to Jim Breheny, WCS Executive Vice President and Director of the Bronx Zoo, “In some cases, the mother needs help raising offspring, and the zookeepers did a wonderful job raising the Malayan Tiger cubs.” He added, “The cubs were fully weaned by 40 days of age, at which time they began to be slowly introduced to the sight, sounds, and smells of adult tigers.” As the cubs mature, they learn ‘how to be tigers’ following their instinct while developing the skills and behaviour of an adult tiger. However, Azul’s upbringing was completely different as she was hand-raised by a gentle caretaker, making her mellow and non-aggressive. It is amazing how Azul is comfortable being around people and is adjusting well to her surroundings.
Save The Malayan Tiger (Selamatkan Harimau Malaya)
The Malayan Tigers are solitary, and like any other tiger subspecies, they only come together for breeding. With Azul in the Woodland Park Zoo, she will explore the Banyan Wilds habitat while rotating with an 11-year-old male Malayan Tiger, Bumi. Bumi and Azul have been paired with a recommendation from the Association of Zoos & Aquariums Malayan Tiger Species Survival Plan. The wildlife authorities are hoping to breed these two beautiful tigers to birth new cubs and guarantee the species’ survival in the future. The program is to ensure a healthy and self-sustaining population of tigers. Furthermore, it is an excellent opportunity to introduce and educate the visitors about the extinction of the Malayan Tiger.
Endangered Malayan Tiger
The Malayan Tiger (Panthera Tigris Jacksoni), also known as Harimau Malaya, is a subspecies native to the southern and central parts of the Peninsula Malaysia. The Malayan Tiger is classified as Endangered in the Red List of Threatened Species published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It is estimated that there are 250 Malayan Tigers left in the wild. Malayan Tigers are dealing with monstrous perils from illegal hunting and poaching resulting from economic activities that have led to tigers killing humans or being killed in retaliation by humans. According to the report, the Malayan Tiger’s population has dropped by more than 97 percent in the past century. Tigers are apex predators, and removing them from the forests only creates a domino effect on community structure and wildlife abundance. The fate of the Malayan Tigers lies in our hands. We must take immediate action to protect the Malayan Tigers from extinction.