Virginia Zoo’s Tiger Brothers Leaving
Words and Images Courtesy of the Virginia Zoo
NORFOLK, VA – Malayan tigers Stubbley and Osceola are leaving the Virginia Zoo. The two six-year-old males have received a recommendation from the Species Survival Plan® to move to other Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited facilities. This program aims to maximize the genetic diversity of the species, creating a healthy and sustainable population for the future. The SSP® also ensures the species’ survival in the wild through supporting conservation efforts such as programs to combat poaching.
Also known by Zoo staff and fans as the “boys”, the infamous pair of critically endangered tigers were born at the Virginia Zoo in 2016 and earned their names shortly after through a silent auction the Zoo held. After birth, their mother was unable to care for the cubs and the Zoo’s Keepers and veterinary staff intervened to hand-rear them.
Public viewing of cub feedings, a “Cub Cam” and virtual series called #TigerTuesdays held at the Animal Wellness Campus’ hospital rooms made Stubbley and Osceola a sensation for Zoo fans near and far. At six months old they ventured into their habitats and spent the summer awing visitors while they splashed in their pool and explored their surroundings.
Since then, the trio of tigers, Stubbley, Osceola and their dad, 11-year-old Christopher, split time spent in their habitat. They have served as crucial ambassadors to their species in the wild and educated hundreds of thousands of visitors who come to the Virginia Zoo each year. Christopher will remain at the Virginia Zoo.
Stubbley and Osceola will be leaving within the next month, but that could change at any time due to the many variables associated with transporting animals. Come soon to say your goodbyes and stay tuned to the Zoo’s social media pages for more information and updates.
About the Virginia Zoo
The Virginia Zoo, located in Norfolk, Virginia, is home to more than 700 exceptional animals representing over 150 fascinating species. Founded in 1901 and residing on 53 beautifully landscaped acres, the Virginia Zoo has demonstrated a commitment to saving and protecting the world’s wildlife by inspiring a passion for nature and taking conservation action at home and around the world. The Virginia Zoo is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is recognized as a global leader in education, recreation, science, wildlife conservation, and animal care and welfare. For more than a century, the Zoo has connected adults, families and school children with the natural world and its wildlife. To learn more, visit www.virginiazoo.org.
About Malayan tigers
One of six subspecies of tigers, Malayan tigers are native to southern and central Malaysia. Adult males of this species average 260 pounds, with females weighing 220 pounds. It is estimated that there are less than 350 individuals in this critically endangered species, which faces threats such as human conflict, poaching for pelts, capture for the illegal pet trade and habitat destruction including the clearing of land for palm oil, an ingredient found in thousands of baked goods, beauty products and pet foods.