On 1 September 2022, Tierpark Berlin’s female Sumatran tiger Mayang (11) gave birth to twin girls. And the two mini-ambassadors for their species have been developing splendidly – curiously exploring their surroundings and successfully completing their first veterinary check-up and vaccinations. Now, the Tierpark is looking for suitable names for the baby tigers.
The ideal names will be short and snappy – and it might be nice if they made reference to the cubs’ birthplace of Berlin. Participating in the search for names is regional bank Berliner Sparkasse, which has taken on sponsorship of the cubs. “All of us at Berliner Sparkasse are delighted to make a contribution to species conservation by sponsoring these very special animals,” says CEO Dr Johannes Evers. “I’m sure that the people of Berlin will come up with many creative suggestions and help us find the perfect names.” Tiger fans of all ages have until 6 December to submit ideas for names via the Tierpark’s social media channels. Alternatively, they can send their suggestions to Berliner Sparkasse at: firstname.lastname@example.org. All entries will be entered into a draw to win a family annual pass and an exclusive experience with the tigers.
“Sumatran tigers are highly endangered and incredibly fascinating,” says Zoo and Tierpark Director Dr Andreas Knieriem. “We are therefore delighted by the attention our cubs are getting and hope they can raise awareness about the issue closest to our hearts – the need to protect nature and animals.” The situation for these big cats in the wild is worrying to say the least: scientists estimate that fewer than 400 of the magnificent animals are currently living in the rainforests of Indonesia. As a result, Sumatran tigers are classified as “Critically Endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
With a little luck, Tierpark guests can admire the new tiger family as they enjoy some cuddles and play time. The cubs also like to take their afternoon nap outside when the sun is shining. “Fortunately, their mum Mayang has been taking excellent care of her babies and is now letting them explore their surroundings independently,” says Knieriem.
With their internationally coordinated breeding programmes, modern zoos represent one of the last glimmers of hope for these threatened big cats. A Global Species Management Plan (GSMP) is in place for the Sumatran tiger, which brings together all regional conservation breeding programmes, such as the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), and coordinates them on a global scale. This creates even better chances of success for the survival of critically endangered species.