Adoptions are an ideal way of helping save some of the rarest cats in the world, whether it be the smallest wild cat, the Sri Lankan rusty spotted cat, the rarest of all big cats, the Amur leopard or the largest of big cats, the magnificent Amur tiger.
Adopting helps with the cats husbandry, including food and veterinary care when required.
As an adopter you are able to visit on one of the Supporters Afternoons run throughout the year, (one visit per 12 month adoption period); where you will be able to tour our site at your leisure, enjoy talks from the keepers followed by light refreshments. There is also the opportunity of bringing up to 4 guests for a suggested donation of £25 each.
Nias was born at Tierpark Berlin to parents Santana and Morris, in 2003. He came to WHF, The Big Cat Sanctuary at a year old and was introduced to breeding partner Puna in late 2007.
The following year, they had their first offspring; two boys; Asu and Bawa. In 2011, these were followed by two more sons, Toba and Kubu.
Nias is a very handsome cat who has a disliking for the summer heat but enjoys regular hosepipe showers from the keeping team.
The Sumatran tiger is the smallest of the tiger sub-species. They have a very characteristic dark orange coat, with very thin, closely packed stripes. As with all tiger species, these stripes are as unique to each individual, as our finger prints are to us. Around the face is a long white ruff of fur, more often seen in males than females. As their name suggests, the Sumatran tiger’s native habitat is the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Historically there were three tiger sub-species that made up a grouping of ‘Sunda Island’ tigers. Two of these; the Javan and Bali, have since been classed as extinct. This leaves the Sumatran tiger as the only surviving island sub-species, all others being mainland animals. They alter their behaviour and hunting in accordance with the type of area they live in. Preferring non-cultivated forests, they take preference over areas with high elevation, dense undercover and close to a water source. Areas that are highly farmed and have a high human influence are naturally avoided by the tigers, such as palm oil or acacia plantations. There have been nine prey species recorded which are often favoured by the tiger population, the largest of these being the Malayan tapir. The Sumatran tiger is an apex predator, so the steady decline in their numbers may eventually have a detrimental effect on prey populations also.
The main threat to the wild Sumatran tiger population is the increasing palm oil trade. The tigers need continual blocks of forest in which to thrive, as being a solitary species this is their only way of meeting breeding individuals.
The traditional medicine trade is another problem that faces the wild population, with the demand for bones and body parts showing no signs of slowing down.
Education is now the key to halting this trade and younger generations are now being taught to appreciate the tiger and that a lot of their traditional medicine is actually of no medicinal value at all. Several surveys have been carried out, and it seems unlikely there will ever be sufficient, sustainable habitat to release captive Sumatran tigers back into the wild.