The Indonesian Rainforest at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is home to two Sumatran Tigers: Indah and Bugara. Safety is a top priority for the Zookeepers and guests when it comes to the Sumatran Tigers, which are a “no-touch” animal. These felines come in from their enclosure every night, so zoo staff closely inspect their exhibit each morning before they come out. That involves checking the perimeter, cleaning smudges off of the glass, testing electric wiring, and even cleaning up some poo.
Bugara, a male Sumatran Tiger, weighs over 250 pounds and is much larger than his 180-pound sister Indah. Both were born in the same litter and recently turned 5 years old.
The tigers are fed horse meatballs twice a day. In the morning, Indah is fed about 2.5 pounds of meat, while Bugara is fed up to 4 pounds. They’ll each be fed another 2.5 pounds at night when they come inside. Sundays are a special night: each of them are fed a large beef femur bone to chew on.
One interesting thing to note is that the beautiful striped patterns on the tigers are unique to each tiger – no two are the same! Their skin is also striped. Those stripes help keep them camouflaged in the forests of Sumatra. Unfortunately, it’s those stripes that are also the reason why Sumatran Tigers are critically endangered – due to poaching. It’s estimated that fewer than 400 Sumatran Tigers are still in the wild. That’s why it’s so important to have Bugara and Indah at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo. According to Zookeeper Kristin Sliger:
We can help inspire people to care – kids at young ages. And educate them about our SSP – species survival plans – helps captive populations stay healthy.
Earn your stripes and visit the Sumatran Tigers in the Indonesian Rainforest!