HONOLULU — Fifteen-year-old Seattle, the Sumatran tiger, arrived at Honolulu Zoo on Thursday evening from the Baton Rouge Zoo in Louisiana. He was born on June 3, 2007 and weighs approximately 220 pounds.

What You Need To Know

  • The Sumatran tiger is one of the smallest tiger species in the world

  • It’s the only surviving tiger population in the Sunda Islands, where the Bali and Javan tigers have gone extinct

  • The biggest threat to survival is poaching, besides palm oil and acacia plantations that have taken over the tiger’s natural habitat

The Sumatran tiger is listed as critically endangered with the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List. Just 400 individuals are believed to be remaining in total.

“With the help of the Honolulu Police Department, who provided an escort team, we are pleased that Seattle, our new Sumatran tiger, arrived safely overnight at the Honolulu Zoo,” said Honolulu Zoo Director Linda Santos in a news release. “We were very fortunate that the Association of Zoos and Aquariums Species Survival Plan identified a genetically suitable pair of tigers for the Honolulu Zoo to breed, and we’re beyond thrilled about the arrival of a male tiger. We are currently working with another zoo to provide us with his mate.”

One of the smallest species in the world, the Sumatran tiger, has heavy black strips on its orange coat, is generally shy and tends to avoid people in the wild. It’s the only surviving tiger population in the Sunda Islands, where the Bali and Javan tigers have gone extinct. Poaching is one of the major threats to survival. The expansion of palm oil (an ingredient in many products such as peanut butter) and acacia plantations have taken over much of their natural habitat.

The Honolulu Zoo’s Aloha Aina Conservation Fund has provided longtime support for conservation efforts of Sumatran tigers in the wild through the AZA SSP’s Tiger Conservation Campaign.

Seattle’s new home will be in the tiger exhibit. The last male tiger at Honolulu Zoo, Berani, passed away in 2017. He had three cubs with Chrissy, the zoo’s female tiger, who will turn 23 years old on June 24, 2022.