THE Ballarat Wildlife Park has welcomed a second tiger to its Tiger Sanctuary conservation display.
Satu, a male Sumatran tiger, arrived late last week from Queensland's Australia Zoo. He joins his female friend, Maneki (pictured below), who has been at the park since late last year.
The tigers are part of a global species management plan and will be ambassadors for helping their wild cousins survive in the wild through education programs and the promotion of conservation initiatives.
The park's Tiger Sanctuary has been designed to ensure a stress-free environment for its new inhabitants. Double the size of the standard requirement for a tiger enclosure, it features swimming pools, climbing poles, shady areas, heated dens and state-of-the-art security to ensure both the tigers and the community are kept safe.
From the Indonesian island of Sumatra, Sumatran tigers face increasing challenges to their survival due to the clearing of their natural habitat for farming and palm oil plantations, as well as poaching for markets and medicine trade. While it is estimated only 500-600 Sumatran tigers remain in the wild, the actual number could be as low as 400.
The Ballarat Wildlife Park is supporting tiger conservation efforts via the Tiger Protection Conservation Unit (TPCU). The TPCU are a group of rangers on the frontline in Sumatra who disable snares, follow leads, solve tiger-human conflicts and provide evidence for legal proceedings.