TOPEKA (KSNT) – A pair of tigers now calls the Topeka Zoo home.
The Topeka Zoo has announced that a second Sumatran tiger named Kinleigh-Rose, also known as Nisha, has been welcomed into the zoo’s family. She joins Thomas, a male Sumatran tiger who arrived earlier this year as part of a worldwide program to help the species reproduce.
“We know how integral our donors are to the work we do within our zoo, so it’s always sad to lose some of our extended family,” said Brendan Wiley, CEO of the Topeka Zoo. “It’s a powerful reminder that while our conservation efforts are challenging, we can help save species from extinction with help and collaboration.”
Kinleigh-Rose is from the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens in Florida, while Thomas was brought to the Topeka Zoo from his home in the Kansas City Zoo. Guests may be able to see the tiger pair in their habitat as early as this weekend.
The Topeka Zoo lost the last of its tigers late last year when they were sent to separate zoos around the world as part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan (SSP) .
“We are extremely patient when it comes to introducing carnivores,” said animal curator Shanna Simpson. “Tigers are typically solitary animals in the wild, so we need to make sure we comply with AZA recommendations and monitor the signals from both Nisha and Thomas. We expect both tigers to be separated for some time, but there’s a good chance guests will be able to see them in their own habitat soon.”
The Topeka Zoo has been a big part of efforts to help Sumatran tigers reproduce. Of the 72 Sumatran tigers in AZA-accredited zoos in North America, seven were born at the Topeka Zoo.