Zoo Knoxville Preparing for Arrival of New Malayan Tiger

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Zoo Knoxville Preparing for Arrival of New Malayan Tiger

Posted: 01/26/2017
Zoo Knoxville is preparing for the arrival of new Malayan tiger this evening. 

The 3-year-old female, named Arya, is coming 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).  

After a quarantine period in the zoo’s animal clinic, Arya will move to the zoo’s new $10 million 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.  

Arya is travelling to Knoxville by plane, having departed California early this morning accompanied by two Zoo Knoxville staff members who are flying in the cargo hold with her for the duration of her trip.  While she is in transit, staff in Knoxville are busy prepping her new den with plenty of bedding and favorite enrichment items that include logs and Boomer balls.

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 zooknoxville.org