Fota Wildlife Park celebrates birth of purr-fect Sumatran tiger cub
AN IRISH wildlife park is celebrating the purr-fect boost with the birth of a rare male Sumatran tiger cub.
Fota Wildlife Park in Cork confirmed the birth of the cub to tiger parents Dourga, an eight year old female, and Denar, a seven year old male.
The as-yet-unnamed cub is the second to be born at the east Cork facility since the endangered cat species arrived in 2014.
A cub born in 2017, a female named Dharma, thrived at Fota and was subsequently transferred to Edinburgh Zoo to help anchor their breeding programme.
Sumatran tigers are the rarest tiger species in the world - and Fota's escalating breeding programme is viewed as critical to their long-term survival.
The tigers are key components of Fota's hugely successful Asian Sanctuary expansion.
Over the past four decades the east Cork park has established itself as one of the world's top breeding centres for endangered species ranging from cheetahs to bison.
Dourga originally came to Fota from Le Parc des Félins in France.
The cub's father Denar arrived from Warsaw City Zoo in Poland.
Other Sumatran tigers at Fota include Batak, a five-year-old male that came in 2015 from Zoo Parc de Beauval in France and Mayang, a seven-year-old female who was born at Doué La Fontaine Zoo in France.
The birth came as a major boost to Fota which is now preparing to welcome their ten millionth visitor - with the lucky visitor set to win the prize of a holiday for two to South African including a special safari.
Fota director, Sean McKeown, said it has been a very exciting time for the wildlife park.
“The countdown is now on to find our ten-millionth visitor. Fota has been open as a conservation charity and wildlife park attraction since 1983 - since then the yearly attendance has risen to over 465,000 annually," he said.
"The excitement is building as we prepare to honour the 10th million visitor - who we expect to walk through the gates in the next seven or eight days, all depending on the levels of visitor numbers really."
"That lucky person will win a holiday for two in South Africa including a safari trip so it will be well worth a visit for anyone considering a great day out this August."
Fota now ranks as the largest visitor attraction in the south and boasts a wide range of animal species ranging from bison to cheetahs and from red pandas to lemurs, giraffes and rhinos.