conservation
5:35 pm
Wed February 16, 2011

Point Defiance tiger goes to Dallas

Java, a 12-year-old, an endangered Sumatran tiger, is leaving his home at Tacoma's Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium to find love at the Dallas Zoo. His keepers tried to mate him with the zoo's female tiger, Jaya, but that didn't work out and she mated with Java's brother, Bali, instead. Jaya gave birth to cubs Bima and Mali last May.

There are more than 70 Sumatran tigers in the United States. The Association of Zoos and Aquariums manages a breeding program for the big cats, and recommended Java be moved to Dallas to breed with that zoo's female tiger. There are fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers worldwide.

Point Defiance general curator Karen Goodrowe Beck says they're sad to see Java go away, but they need to do everything they can to save the endangered species. Bali and Jaya, along with their cubs, Bima and Mali, will remain at the zoo and can be seen in the Asian Forest Sanctuary exhibit.