LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Love could be in the air for the Los Angeles Zoo’s Sumatran tiger.
C.J., a 4-year-old male, now has a companion in Indah, a 2-year-old female who arrived last summer from a Tacoma, Wash. Zoo as a potential breeding partner.
The zoo’s animal care staff underwent a delicate introduction process to help the two felines get to know each other, officials said.
“Introducing two tigers can be an extremely sensitive process that requires time and patience,” Dorothy Belanger, senior animal keeper at the Los Angeles Zoo, said in a statement. “You would never want to immediately put two tigers together in the same space because they are territorial by nature. Animal Care staff helped Indah get used to her new home while also taking necessary steps to build familiarity and eventually trust between the two tigers.”
After Indah got acquainted with her new home and the two grew accustomed to seeing each other, the pair finally went out into the habitat for the first time on Dec. 8 and have been inseparable since.
“This pairing has really been the best case scenario when putting two tigers together,” according to animal keeper Krissy Parada. “The pair is getting along great, and while C.J. is bigger and more excited to get to know her, he listens to her warnings when she wants her space. There haven’t been any disagreements so far, and they seem to communicate very well because they met when they were still young.”
C.J. and Indah, who will reach sexual maturity in the next few years, were paired together as part of a Species Survival Program. Sumatran tigers are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, with less than 400 left in the wild, according to the Los Angeles Zoo.