Arya the Malayan Tiger Settling in to Her New Home in Knoxville

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Arya the Malayan Tiger Settling in to Her New Home in Knoxville

Posted: 01/27/2017
Zoo Knoxville’s new Malayan tiger Arya arrived Thursday evening after a cross-country flight from California and is settling in to her new home under the watchful eyes of her caretakers.

The 3-year-old female came to Knoxville from the Fresno Chaffee Zoo in California on the recommendation of the Malayan Tiger Species Survival Plan, which manages the breeding and social placement of all tigers in zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).  

Upon arrival, Arya took some time to explore her dens and outdoor runs in her temporary holding area, where she will live while she undergoes a short quarantine period. The zoo’s veterinary staff will ensure she is healthy and ready to join the zoo’s other tigers in a few weeks.  Arya was displaying a good appetite Friday morning, and staff will make sure she has a quiet transition so she can rest after her long trip.  Her new home has been outfitted with some of her favorite enrichment items that include cardboard boxes to investigate, logs and Boomer balls to make her feel welcome.  

In a few weeks Arya will move to the zoo’s new multi-acre Tiger Forest habitat, making her public debut in April when it officially opens.  After she has time to adjust to her new home, zoo staff will begin planning a pairing with one of the zoo’s two males, Bashir and Tanvir.  

Malayan tigers are critically endangered, with fewer than 400 remaining on the planet.  Zoo Knoxville is actively involved in the Malayan Tiger Species Survival Plan, a national collaborate effort by AZA-accredited zoos to save this species from extinction.  Currently, 64 Malayan tigers live in U.S. zoos. 

Zoo Knoxville is a nonprofit entity situated on 53 wooded acres just east of downtown Knoxville. Zoo Knoxville features exhibits of wild animals in natural habitats and is world renowned for its efforts in conservation and species survival. Zoo Knoxville is nationally accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and is committed to the highest standards in animal care and well-being, ethics, conservation, and education. Knoxville’s largest attraction, the zoo is open every day except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  Currently, the zoo is open from 10:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. daily.  Admission and ticket sales stop one-hour before the zoo closes. For more information visit