BioPark Zoo gets new tiger in swap for his brother » Albuquerque Journal | #bumble | #tinder | #pof | #onlinedating


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Malayan tiger Bunga is the newest resident of the ABQ BioPark Zoo. He is seen here at the Dickerson Park Zoo in Missouri, from where he was transferred on the same day his brother, Penari, was transferred from the BioPark Zoo to the Bronx Zoo for breeding. (Photo courtesy of Jackson Thompson)

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

In a bit of creative swapping, the ABQ BioPark Zoo relinquished one Malayan tiger in exchange for another – the animal’s brother.

The zoo transferred tiger Penari to the Bronx Zoo earlier this week, while Penari’s litter mate, Bunga (pronounced “Boon-ya”) arrived from the Dickerson Park Zoo in Missouri on the same day.

The Malayan tiger brothers were born in 2011 at the Palm Beach Zoo in West Palm Beach, Florida, and were moved to the Jacksonville Zoo in 2013. Panari came to the ABQ BioPark Zoo in February 2017.

The moves were coordinated as part of the Species Survival Plan, a program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums designed to help maintain a sustainable and genetically diverse tiger population, explained mammal curator Erin Flynn.

“Think of the Species Survival Plan as ‘eharmony’ for zoo animals,” she said, referring to the online dating site. In the case of animals, they are designated for breeding or for holding. Penari is going to be bred and Bunga will be held. Trading the brothers “has made it possible to put together two other tiger pairs to make tiger babies, hopefully,” Flynn said.

There are 51 Malayan tigers in the AZA’s Species Survival Plan.

The Malayan tiger is native to the southern and central parts of the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is classified as critically endangered and there are an estimated 200 remaining in the wild.

Bunga is currently the only Malayan tiger on display at the BioPark Zoo, however the Asia exhibit being planned for the zoo is being designed “with the hope of breeding tigers in the future,” Flynn said.

“While we’re sad to say goodbye to Penari, we’re also excited to welcome his brother Bunga, and to continue educating the public about these amazing animals and their conservation challenges in the wild,” BioPark Zoo manager Lynn Tupa said in a news release.

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