The Nashville Zoo gained some stripes recently when they welcomed their newest male tiger, Felix. Felix is a 3-year-old, 236-pound Sumatran tiger from the Greensboro Science Center in North Carolina, after being born in Jacksonville Florida. He was brought to the Nashville Zoo to meet his hopefully soon to be mating partner Francis, the zoos 6-year-old female Sumatran tiger.
The AZA (Association of Zoos and Aquariums) selected the Nashville Zoo as a breeding location for endangered species. The Sumatran tiger is listed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List. This is due to the population of tigers decreasing by almost 60% over the last 3 decades. There are fewer than 300 Sumatran tigers in captivity around the world. There are 71 of them that live in AZA accredited zoos.
With the addition of Felix, the hope is that him and Francis will breed and help increase the population of tigers left in the world. The two have not met yet due to the fact that male and female tigers live separately unless they are breeding. They will be introduced in the zoos new “Tiger Crossroads” exhibit and be together when Francis is ready for breeding.
Nashville Zoo’s “Tiger Crossroads” exhibit opened in April 2019. The exhibit received top honors for exhibit design from the Association of Zoos and Aquariums because of its overall aesthetics and authenticity. There have been improvements made to the original space both for the animals and guests. Visit it their website for more details and information.