Zookeepers Play Matchmaker With Endangered Tigers

An endangered Sumatran tiger arrived in Chester Zoo in Cheshire, England, after he was “genetically matched” with a female tiger as part of conservationists’ plans for new cubs.

Three-year-old Dash was brought from Fota Wildlife Park in Ireland in hopes of preventing the extinction of his species, the Chester Zoo said. The Internal Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that approximately 400 Sumatran tigers remain worldwide.

“Dash is a handsome, confident young tiger and he’s quickly settled into his new surroundings," said Mike Jordan, Director of Animals and Plants at Chester Zoo. “He’s been carefully matched with female tiger Kasarna, based on his age, character, and his genetics, and we’re hopeful that they’ll soon strike up a close bond and, one day, go on to have cubs.”

This footage shows Dash taking in his new surroundings shortly after his arrival. The second clip shows his new mate, Kasarna, who was born at Chester Zoo in 2015.

Such introductions can be dangerous for female tigers. A six-year-old female Sumatran tiger at a Washington zoo was killed by her new mate last year when keepers introduced the pair, according to reports. Credit: Chester Zoo via Storyful

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