Tulsa Zoo Malayan Cub Heads to New Home Out of State

A 5-week-old Malaysian tiger cub is headed out of state to a new zoo after it was rejected by its first time mother.

Now weighing at 10.5 pounds and growing daily, Berani will leave the Tulsa Zoo on October 10. He will be joining another tiger cub at the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington.

"It is important, whenever possible, for an animal like Berani to be raised with members of his own species," said Dr. Kay Backues, Tulsa Zoo Senior Staff Veterinarian. "With another tiger playmate of similar age, he will grow up to be better socialized and behave in an appropriate way with humans and tigers."

According to the zoo's release, when Berani was born, his mother, Jin,took care of him for the first 24 hours and then lost interest. The zoo added that this isn't unusual for first time mother tigresses and veterinary staff intervened as soon as his mother showed signs of neglect.

The decision to send Berani to Tacoma was made after staff learned the zoo had opened a new exhibit, equipped with more holding space than the one here in Tulsa.

Berani was born in conjunction with the Species Survival Plan, which manages breeding among highly endangered species in zoos across the nation. According to the Tulsa Zoo, there are fewer than 500 Malayan tigers left in the wild due to habitat loss and poaching.

"It will be hard to send him away," Backues said. "He's been a joy and a lot of fun to raise, but we always prefer animals to be raised with their own kind."