Ballarat Wildlife Park's second Sumatran tiger, a 13-year-old male named Satu, has arrived and immediately made himself at home.
After being released in to his new home early Friday morning after a flight from Australia Zoo in Queensland, he proceeded to do a full lap to check out all the features of his enclosure.
Since then he has split his time between his private off-viewing area and in the enclosure in full public view.
"Like any animal that you move, it's about taking time to allow them to come and go as they please. There's no pressure on them to come out. We entice them out and encourage them out but how long they stay out is up to them," said Ballarat Wildlife Park chief tiger keeper Robbie Doyle.
Satu joins his female partner Maneki, who came to live at the wildlife park late last year.
It is the fourth home for Satu, who was born and spent his first two years at a zoo in Germany before moving to Sydney's Taronga Zoo where he spent seven years as part of their breeding program. The past four years have been at Australia Zoo.
Mr Doyle said the pair successfully bred just over three years ago and he hoped the pair would eventually breed again.
"We have to get a permit approved to be able to breed them. We have a permit to hold them here at Ballarat Wildlife Park, that was stage one, and when we originally put in a permit we were looking for two younger cats but it didn't work out that way," he said.
He hoped that could happen within the next two years.
Satu and Maneki live separately in adjacent enclosures and only put together if a permit to breed is approved.
"All tigers are critically endangered and there are estimated to only be about 300 to 500 Sumatran tigers in the wild today, and not many more throughout the world in captivity," Mr Doyle said.
Their future is threatened due to clearing of their natural habitat for farming and palm oil plantations, and poaching for markets and medicine trades.
Satu and Maneki are part of a global management plan to help conserve the species, and Ballarat Wildlife Park is supporting the Tiger Protection Conservation Unit, a group of rangers in Sumatra working to disable snares, follow leads, solve tiger-human conflicts and provide evidence for legal proceedings .
Their new home at Tiger Sanctuary features swimming pools, climbing poles, shady areas, heated dens and are double the size of the standard requirement for a tiger enclosure.
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