NASHVILLE, TN – April 3, 2019 – The new Tiger Crossroads exhibit featuring three four-year-old female Sumatran tigers will open to the public 9:30 a.m. April 12 at the Nashville Zoo.
Originally built in 1989 as a black bear exhibit and then home to Bengal tigers until 2015, the zoo’s tiger exhibit was in need of renovation. Improvements to the exhibit enlarged the tigers’ habitat and night quarters, as well as added a new indoor viewing area for guests. The viewing building features reinforced glass panels for the closest possible view of these majestic cats, an interactive training window where guests can see keepers working with the tigers and interactive displays to engage and educate visitors about tiger conservation.
In addition, the outdoor bridge viewing area has been renovated to visually mirror the Asian architectural components featured on the new viewing building. Hand-painted and hand-carved woodwork cover this bridge, as well as the exterior of the viewing building.
The Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is the smallest tiger species in the world and lives between 10-15 years in the wild and up to 20 years in human care. They are listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List and their population has decreased by 60% in the last 35 years. There are 269 Sumatran tigers in institutions around the globe and 71 in AZA-accredited zoos.
Nashville Zoo’s three Sumatran tigers, Huntley, Ace and Frances, will act as ambassador animals for their species by educating the public about their importance in the wild. The Tiger Conservation Campaign, through support provided by Nashville Zoo and other zoos, works to protect and grow tiger populations in their habitats. Working with the Wildlife Conservation Society, Tiger Conservation Campaign devotes its resources to reducing habitat loss, poaching and human/tiger conflicts.
Nashville Zoo has made a long-term commitment to the Tiger Conservation Campaign and their initiatives to minimize human/tiger conflict in Sumatra. The zoo and Tiger Conservation Campaign’s joint goal is to prevent the killing or unnecessary removal of tigers from their natural habitat by local communities.
This exhibit was made possible through a lead gift from The Bracken Foundation and with support from the following generous donors: Drew Crawford, EBS Foundation, The Frist Foundation, HCA Healthcare, H.G. Hill Realty Company, The Hagood Family and Mars Petcare.
Photo credit: Amy Smotherman Burgess
About Nashville Zoo
Nashville Zoo is a nonprofit organization and an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, assuring the highest standards of animal care and husbandry. The Zoo is actively engaged in conservation research, habitat protection, breeding programs and education initiatives around the globe as well as in our own backyard. The Zoo attracts more than 1,000,000 visitors annually and is considered one of the top attractions in Nashville. Nashville Zoo is located at 3777 Nolensville Pike and is open every day except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information about Nashville Zoo, visit www.nashvillezoo.org.
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