JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens is proud to present its two new Sumatran tigers: Lucy, a 2-year-old female who arrived last week, and Berani, a 12-year-old male who got there Wednesday.
Both tigers will live in the zoo's highly anticipated 2.5-acre attraction Land of the Tiger, which is scheduled to open in March.
The last time the zoo had tigers was about 15 years ago, so the exhibit is a big deal for the zoo.
"This is the first big, major exhibit we've done since 2004 when we opened range of the Jaguar," zoo spokesman Dan Maloney said.
Sumatran tigers are the last of the island tigers still existing, so the zoo hopes Lucy and Berani will have a cub together.
The pair joins three Malayan tiger brothers, which arrived in late October.
There are fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers around the world.
"All tigers are endangered," Maloney said. "When I was born, there were nine different kinds of tigers. Right now there are only six."
These cats are to be a part of the zoo's new $9.5 million expansion, which will immerse guests in an Asian experience.
The habitat will provide an active experience for visitors and will allow tigers to safely roam the attraction through a fortified trail system.
The zoo is constructing a tunnel system where the tigers can walk up a ramp through the tunnels around the exhibit so visitors can see the tigers at any given time.
"No one has ever given these tigers an opportunity to move through a fortified trail this way," Maloney said. "They are going to be able to move through the exhibit, around the exhibit and even over the guests."
Land of the Tiger is part of the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens' $12 million, 100-year anniversary campaign.