Busch Gardens Tampa Bay announced the arrival of Bandar, a critically endangered male Sumatran tiger. He joins the park’s collection of more than 200 animal species. Bandar was transferred from the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, Washington. As a result, Bandar becomes Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s first Sumatran tiger to join the current streak of tigers. In his new habitat, he will join Rukayah and Zahra, a Malayan and Bengal tiger, respectively. Park guests can now get up close with Bandar, a nine-year-old male Sumatran tiger residing in the park’s Jungala realm.
The Sumatran tiger is a critically endangered species on the brink of extinction. Bandar is part of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay’s participation in the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan. The mission of the Species Survival Plan revolves around cooperatively managing specific species populations within AZA-accredited facilities, like Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Busch Gardens Tampa Bay functions as a respected manager of tiger populations.
Sumatran tigers face extinction due to poaching, habitat loss, and human conflict. “Watching Bandar settle into his new home is exciting and inspiring,” said Jenny Mendoza, vice president- Zoological for Busch Gardens Tampa Bay. Mendoza also said, “We are very thrilled to provide him with a home for him to thrive, share his story with our guests, and have our zoological facilities serve as a building block for the prosperous future of all tigers.”
Busch Gardens Tampa Bay continues to be accredited by the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA), like other area theme parks and zoos. AZA performs facility inspections and evaluates education and conservation programs. Busch Gardens in Florida also earned the Humane Certified™ seal from American Humane, the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare.
Guests interested in experiencing an up-close look at Bengal, Malayan, and Sumatran tigers can purchase a Tiger Insider Tour. This tour offers an insider’s perspective on the care of these endangered animals. Guests also learn how the parks help to protect these animals in the wild. Also, through these engaging and educational opportunities, guests can learn how to make a difference for their counterparts in the wild.
Will you be making a trip to Tampa Bay to see Bandar? Let us know in the comments below.
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