Date: 06 Nov 2018
Belfast Zoo has said a fond farewell to Sumatran tigers, Kabus and Kinabalu, who have moved to new homes as part of a European Endangered Species breeding programme.
Kabus was born in Chessington Zoo on 20 February 2008 and arrived at Belfast Zoo in 2009. He recently moved to NaturZoo Rheine in Germany to live in a newly developed enclosure with a female cat. Kinabalu was born in Fuengirola Zoo on 2 July 2007 and arrived at Belfast Zoo in November 2010. She moved to Le Pal Zoo in France, where she too will join a breeding male.
Zoo curator, Julie Mansell, said “Kabus and Kinabalu were firm zoo favourites with both staff and visitors and will be greatly missed. However, conservation is one of Belfast Zoo’s primary goals and there are fewer than 500 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, with their main threats including habitat destruction and illegal hunting. The role of zoos is becoming increasingly important in ensuring a viable safety net population for the future of species, such as the Sumatran tiger. Kabus and Kinabalu are part of the European breeding programme for the Sumatran tiger and their move has been recommended by the studbook keeper for this species. We are excited to hear updates about the pair and look forward to hearing news about the pitter patter of little paws in the future.”
Belfast Zoo is home to other cat species including Temminck’s golden cats and a pride of Barbary lions, a species that was originally native to North Africa and is now extinct in the wild.