TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Topeka Zoo is no longer tigerless.
Thomas the Sumatran Tiger now calls the capital city home after moving from his former home at the Kansas City Zoo. The tiger habitat at the Topeka Zoo has been vacant since December last year, when the zoo’s resident tiger population was moved to different zoos across the world.
“We are thrilled to welcome Thomas to the Topeka Zoo family,” said Shanna Simpson, animal curator. “He is adjusting to his new home here perfectly. Our focus for the next week is to begin the relationship building process between our animal care staff and Thomas. We will be spending time with him, feeding him, beginning training, and helping him get used to his new home. We are not sure when he will be viewable for the public but we will make sure to update everyone on how he is doing.”
Another female Sumatran Tiger will be joining Thomas at the Topeka Zoo next month in the hopes to establish another successful breeding pair, according to the Topeka Zoo. More information will be released after a standard quarantine period has been completed.
The Topeka Zoo announced that it would be losing its tigers in December 2022. A new pair would be coming to replace them in early 2023 as part of the Species Survival Plan which moves critically-endangered tigers to other locations to help save the species.
The tigers, Sanjiv and Badar, left the Topeka zoo for their new zoos, completing the first phase of a process that began last year when another tiger, Zayana, was sent to the Auckland Zoo in New Zealand. The tiger Bintang made his way to a new home at the Kansas City Zoo, swapping places with Thomas last year as well.