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Hamilton Zoo's tiger cubs formally named

Zoo News - Posted 9 May 2015

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They are a big hit with visitors, and Hamilton Zoo’s two Sumatran tiger cubs now have their own special names.
 
Following a month-long public competition, zoo staff worked through 800 entries and compiled a shortlist of six names for the six-month-old cubs, a male and a female. The final decision was then up to their adoring public who had the chance to vote on their favourite names, and the winning two can now be revealed.
 
The female’s name Kirana means “beautiful ray of light”, and was first suggested by Auckland’s Jennifer Finucane.
 
The male has been named Kembali, which means “return”, “come back”, or “invincible”, and was suggested by Wellington’s Stephen Satherley.
 
Entries came in from across New Zealand and  nearly 1000 people then cast their votes, showing just how much people have connected with the cubs.
 
Samantha Kudeweh, Hamilton Zoo’s Curator, says the two cubs are “fighting fit and full of energy”.
 
“They are confident little cats who are eager to explore their world,” she says.
 
Mrs Kudeweh says Kirana and Kembali are generally visible during the day, and are proving to be a huge hit with visitors.  Although they are still nursing from their mother Sali, each cub also eats about 2 kg of meat each day, and they have been spotted sneakily stealing meat from their mother.
 
“She normally responds with a tolerant growl,” Mrs Kudeweh says.
 
Kirana  is more adventurous and confident than her brother, and often plays up to her audience of zoo visitors. The cubs’ father Oz is in a neighbouring enclosure and the cubs and the tiger family can often be seen relaxing near each other.
 
ABOUT SUMATRAN TIGERS
·         The Sumatran tiger is a rare sub-species of the tiger.
·         The species is only found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, and the gradual decline in its population is attributed to human activity,  which impacts on their natural forest habitat. 
·         The International Union for the Conservation of Nature estimates only 500 of the animals live in the wild.
 
ABOUT HAMILTON ZOO
·         Hamilton Zoo is wholly owned by Hamilton City Council.
·         Located on the city’s western outskirts, it is home to more than 600 animals, and covers a 25-hectare site.
·         The zoo has a focus on sympathetic conservation of rare species, and is involved in a number of conservation breeding programmes.

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