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Sumatran tiger

Did you know?

Panthera tigris sumatrae

Tigers are excellent swimmers! They can easily cross rivers and lakes five miles wide. Our own tigers enjoy a swim now and then, especially on a hot day or to find food.

Discover tigers

Habitat
Wild and Zoo
Sumatran tigers live in lowland and mountain forests on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Around 7-8 feet long, they have characteristic black striping on orange fur, with long whiskers and claws.
Meet the Keepers
(They don't bite.)
Keepers in our Asian Forest Sanctuary give a chat daily. Ask questions about each animal, and find out how our zoo team feeds and cares for them.
Zookeeper Life: Sam

Meet our tigers

Raja
Kirana
Bandar
Kali
Indah
Eating
(and predators!)
Tigers are carnivores. They hunt wild pigs, deer, tapirs, fish and anything else they can catch.
Humans are the Sumatran tiger’s main predator, hunting them for meat, fur and protection. Young tigers can fall prey to leopards, snakes and other tigers.
Born wild
and ready to hunt.
After a gestation of 100-110 days, females give birth to a litter of 2-4 cubs.
Cubs weigh a little over two pounds at birth, and nurse for 6-10 weeks. By 18 months they are ready to hunt for themselves.
Hunt like a tiger
Sleep like a cat.
Tigers are generally solitary, and not very active most of the time. They sleep 18-20 hours per day!
Males and females both mark their territory by spraying urine on trees, bushes and the ground.

Protecting Tigers

Hunted tiger, shrinking forest

THE THREAT: Like many animals, tigers depend on tropical rainforests to survive in the wild. In southeast Asia, these forests are rapidly being cut down to grow palm oil, found in many food products. Tigers are also hunted by poachers – fewer than 400 survive in Sumatra.

TAKE ACTION: To help save tigers, learn about and buy only products made with sustainable palm oil. Urge companies to make the switch. And consider donating to our Dr. Holly Reed fund, which supports tiger conservation in Sumatra.

Tiger Stories

Zoo Bamboo

It’s one of the fastest-growing plants in the world. It’s used for buildings, dishes, musical instruments. It’s food for animals and people. And there are over 45 types at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. We’re talking bamboo, that leggy, elegant plant known for both lush garden vibes as well as gardener headaches if it gets … Continued

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Striking a Tiger Match

Bandar likes Kali. Kali likes him but it depends on the day. Indah adores Raja but sometimes he’d just prefer food. Kirana’s not a fan of either guy, but she’ll play along when she wants. If this sounds like a complicated Tinder triangle (or pentagon) to you, you’re not wrong. Tiger breeding is happening with … Continued

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Dr. Karen Goodrowe: Tiger Matchmaker

It’s the ultimate matchmaker job. Dr. Karen Goodrowe, general curator at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, has spent her career researching and guiding animal reproduction in zoos – particularly big cats like clouded leopards and tigers. Now she’s the coordinator for all three tiger Species Survival Plan® programs in the Association of Zoos & Aquariums … Continued

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Who's nearby?
Visiting our tigers? Then keep an eye out for our tapirs! As we rotate our Asian Sanctuary animals around their habitats, this keeps the smells interesting for both species…