AKRON, OH (WOIO) - In an effort to help the Sumatran tiger population, the Akron Zoo has shipped Jae-Jae, their male Sumatran tiger to London for breeding.
There are fewer than 300 Sumatran tigers remaining in the wild.
With the help of DHL, two tigers, Melati, a female from the Perth Zoo in Australia and Jae-Jae from the Akron Zoo are being brought together at the ZSL London Zoo.
Melati arrived in London on September 29. Saturday, Jae-Jae was transported from the Akron Zoo to Cincinnati where he was loaded onto a plane for his trip overseas, where he will be joined with his mate.
To mimic the tigers' mating rituals and behavior its natural habitat, Melati was brought to the zoo first and given time to mark her territory, before Jae-Jae will be introduced.
According to the Akron Zoo, the Sumatran tiger is the smallest type of tiger. Males weigh about 309 pounds whereas, a male Siberian tiger may weigh as much as 670 pounds. Most people do not realize that no two tigers have the same stripe pattern. Sumatran tigers have the most stripes of any tiger covering its body. The tiger's stripes help conceal the animal's body as it stalks its prey. Sumatran tigers prey upon creatures such as muntjac, langurs and small animals when larger prey is scarce.
Years ago, there were eight sub-species of tigers that ranged throughout Asia. The number of tigers began to steeply decline during the 20th century mainly due to human actions. Today, only five sub-species remain. The tiger is one of the most beautiful and powerful predators, but its strength can not protect it from habitat destruction and loss of prey. Poaching for its pelt or body parts for traditional Asian medicines also has contributed to declining numbers.
DHL established early on that if either tiger is in transit for longer than 24 hours, they would need to be grounded and fed. So, in the case of Jae-Jae, we made some adjustments our global flight operations, to ensure his arrival at London Heathrow within the 24-hour deadline. This meant that the whole DHL network was working around the needs of this VIP passenger.
Tiger in Transit Team
DHL's dedicated tiger team includes staff from across DHL's operation, from aircraft engineers to cargo handlers, security teams, pilots and drivers, have worked to assist Jae-Jae and Melati.
The Tigers' "Luggage" and traveling companion
A dedicated zookeeper from ZSL London Zoo traveled with each tiger. Space was also made on board for comfort items and food, including 2 gallons of water and around 10 lbs of meat.
Bespoke traveling crates were created for the tigers, equipped with infrared cameras to allow each tiger's on-board keeper to monitor their well being throughout the journey.
About the Conservation Program
Tiger experts, keepers and conservationists at ZSL have worked together to develop a flagship conservation headquarters at ZSL London Zoo, which will house the tigers. The Conservation HQ will not only be a center for the European conservation breeding program for Sumatran tigers but will also provide a platform for conservationists to gain more vital knowledge that can be directly applied to saving the tigers in the wild.