Page 1

Mother’s Day Brunch SUNDAY, MAY 11, 2014



Treetops Banquet Room

Hunte Nairobi Pavilion

Mom is sure to appreciate the lovely setting and relaxing atmosphere for her celebration!

We’ll have festive dishes and beautiful surroundings for Mom, and kids will enjoy their own buffet!

Continuous seating from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost is $42.95 for adults and $18.95 for children ages 3 through 11, plus tax and gratuity. Nonmembers add Zoo admission. Please call 619-557-3964 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily for reservations.

Cost is $42.95 for adults and $18.95 for children ages 3 through 11, plus tax and gratuity. Two seatings, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., each limited to two hours. Reserved seating. Please call 619-718-3000 for reservations. Parking not included; nonmembers add Safari Park admission.

Visit for the menu and more information.

Visit for the menu and more information.

inside may 2014

wildlife 8 Time to Prowl Tiger Trail The anticipation has been great, and the time has finally come—Tiger Trail opens at the Safari Park on May 24! Get a first look at this spectacular new experience. BY KAREN E. WORLEY

12 Tiger Power Tigers have a powerful hold on our hearts and minds—and the future of the species is in our hands. BY WENDY PERKINS

16 All Types of Stripes: Meet the Safari Park’s Tigers The Park’s charismatic big cats have personalities to match their size! BY PEGGY SCOTT

conservation 20 Stalking Tigers through Time Discover the striking evolution, expansion, and endangered status of the tiger. BY KARYL CARMIGNANI

more 2 4 5 6 24 26 28

Chairman’s Note Through the Lens Save the Date You Said It What’s in Store Support From the Archives

FREE! Download the ZOONOOZ App for your iPad at

on the cover and this page: Sumatran tiger Panthera tigris sumatrae Photos by Ken Bohn, SDZG Photographer

chairman’s note


Richard B. Gulley, Chairman William H. May, Vice Chairman Sandra A. Brue, Secretary Robert B. Horsman, Treasurer

We Thank You, and the Tigers Thank You


M. Javade Chaudhri Berit N. Durler Clifford W. Hague Nan C. Katona Patricia L. Roscoe Steven G. Tappan Judith A. Wheatley David S. Woodruff, Ph.D., D.Sc.


Rick Gulley Chairman



MAY 2014



he opening of The Tull Family Tiger Trail this month at the Safari Park is the culmination of more than six years of planning, design, and construction, and the results are wonderful. This new experience opens up a section of the Safari Park that we have wanted to do more with for quite some time. Even more importantly, it creates a beautiful new home for our six Sumatran tigers and immerses visitors in their world. The opening of Tiger Trail is also the culmination of years of fundraising and contributions from donors who have made this new Safari Park adventure possible. I want to say thank you on behalf of all of us at San Diego Zoo Global to everyone who helped make this dream come true. We are most especially grateful to Thomas and Alba Tull for their generous lead gift, which transformed Tiger Trail from a great idea to a spectacular reality. Tiger Trail has added a whole new dimension to the Safari Park that I know our members and guests are going to appreciate. We could not do what we do and make a difference for animals like the critically endangered Sumatran tiger without philanthropists like the Tull Family and supportive members, donors, and visitors like all of you. It takes a community, and together we can accomplish great things. I am very proud of Tiger Trail and all it stands for, and I hope you will come to the Safari Park to help us celebrate its grand opening this summer. Wait until you see those majestic big cats in their new environment—it’s an adventure you won’t soon forget.

Frank C. Alexander Kurt Benirschke, M.D. Weldon Donaldson Thompson Fetter Bill L. Fox Frederick A. Frye, M.D. George L. Gildred Yvonne W. Larsen John M. Thornton Albert Eugene Trepte Betty Jo F. Williams

William E. Beamer, General Counsel Douglas G. Myers, President/CEO Charles L. Bieler, Executive Director Emeritus


Murray H. Hutchison, Chair Maryanne C. Pfister, Vice Chair Susan N. McClellan Secretary Richard M. Hills, Treasurer Mark A. Stuart, President Richard B. Gulley, Ex officio Douglas G. Myers, Ex officio

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Christine L. Andrews Joye D. Blount Rick Bregman Lisa S. Casey Douglas Dawson Berit N. Durler, Ex officio U. Bertram Ellis, Jr. Arthur E. Engel Craig L. Grosvenor Judith C. Harris Craig A. Irving Michael E. Kassan Susan B. Major Michael D. McKinnon George A. Ramirez Thomas Tull Margie Warner Ed Wilson

TimetoBlossom! Join in a bouquet of activities and experiences for all ages, whether you have a green thumb or just wish you did! Discover the wealth of beautiful and fascinating plants at the Zoo, and connect with garden experts who can give you the dirt on all things botanical and horticultural. It’s a blooming good time!

San Diego Zoo Garden Festival, May 10 and 11, 2014

through the lens

Sumatran tiger Panthera tigris sumatrae



MAY 2014




save the date


The Zoological Society of San Diego was founded in October 1916 by Harry M. Wegeforth, MD, as a private, nonprofit corporation, that currently does business as San Diego Zoo Global. The printed, hard-copy version of ZOONOOZ® (ISSN 00445282) is currently published bimonthly (Nos. 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 of each year’s volume; the even-numbered issues of each volume are available in digital format only). Publisher is San Diego Zoo Global, at 2920 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92103, 619-231-1515. Periodicals postage paid at San Diego, California, USA, and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Membership Department, P.O. Box 120271, San Diego, CA 92112. Copyright® 2014 San Diego Zoo Global. All rights reserved. “ZOONOOZ” Reg. U.S. Pat. Office. All column and program titles are trademarks of San Diego Zoo Global. Annual Memberships: Dual $119, new; $104, renewal. Single $98, new; $86, renewal. Each membership includes unlimited entrance to the San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Subscription to printed issues of ZOONOOZ: $25 per year, $65 for 3 years. Foreign, including Canada and Mexico, $30 per year, $81 for 3 years. Contact Membership Department, P.O. Box 120271, San Diego, CA 92112. As part of San Diego Zoo Global’s commitment to conservation, ZOONOOZ is printed on recycled paper that is 30% post-consumer waste, chlorine free, and is Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) certified. FSC® is not responsible for any calculations on saving resources by choosing this paper.

Tiger Trail Grand Opening


e are excited this month about the opening of The Tull Family Tiger Trail at the Safari Park. We’ll be holding a preview for media and members on Friday morning, May 23, 2014, and then the experience will officially open on Saturday, May 24. As I’ve been out walking the site during various phases of construction, I am impressed by the beautiful and spacious habitats for the tigers and the level of detail that has gone into the visitor areas and buildings. I think our guests will be pleased with this dynamic and eye-opening adventure, and I can’t wait to share it with you. This issue of ZOONOOZ provides a sneak peek at Tiger Trail itself, with information about these revered and much-loved big cats. I hope you can join us for the opening celebrations or soon after and that Tiger Trail will become a regular part of your Safari Park visits!

Douglas G. Myers President/CEO MAY 4 Safari Park Half Marathon and 10K Run, Safari Park 9 Roar & Snore Safari: Junior Night, Safari Park 10 Garden Festival, Zoo 10 Mother’s Day Chocolate Roar & Snore Safari, Safari Park

SAN DIEGO ZOO HOURS May 1–31: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 1–20: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 21: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 22–27: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 28–30: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. SAN DIEGO ZOO SAFARI PARK HOURS May 1–23: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 24–26: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. May 27–31: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 1–20: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 21–30: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. WEBSITE

SAN DIEGO ZOO PHONE 619-231-1515


JUNE 1 Orchid Odyssey, Zoo 7, 14 Father’s Day Sleepover, Zoo 9 Adventures in Art programs begin, Zoo 14 Father’s Day Roar & Snore Safari, Safari Park 15 Father’s Day Buffet, Safari Park

10 Mother’s Day Sleepover, Zoo

20 Plant Day and Orchid Odyssey, Zoo

11 Mother’s Day Brunch, Zoo and Safari Park

21 R*I*T*Z Gala, Zoo

16 Plant Day and Orchid Odyssey, Zoo

21 Summer Safari begins (through August 17), Safari Park

16 Roar & Snore Safari: Family Night, Safari Park

23 Summer Camp programs begin, Zoo and Safari Park 27 Nighttime Zoo Member Preview, Zoo 28 Nighttime Zoo begins (through September 1), Zoo 30 One-day Summer Camps begin, Safari Park




you said it Instagram <Photo: Cheetah> @sdzsafaripark is one of my favorite places. @sonoimager

Best Zoo Evar!!!!!!!! @windronin @sdzsafaripark is one of my favorite places. @sonoimager

#koalafornia going bowling in Boston! @KHagen09



MAY 2014

It’s amazing how nature works! Tanu [baby zebra] is just the cutest little thing and having to memorize his mother’s stripes right after being born is unbelievable! WOW!!! Congratulations to the Zoo and the Safari Park for preserving and caring for all of God’s creatures. Zebras must have incredible memories, if they can recognize their mother’s stripes at such an early age. Lynn Carol Feinn

Visited the polar bears today and were treated to a show compliments of the polar bears! Lots of romping around and playing. What a treat! Carol S. Gossett

Must Do at the @sdzsafaripark @rebeccakelley12 No disrespect to the cock-of-the-rock but its eyes really remind me of googly eyes (the type that get stuck onto pet rocks). The males’ plumage colors are quite extraordinary. carol_lizard

n w O r u ! o Y e r e u t t a n e e r v C d A e v i s u Excl

It’s the ultimate way to experience wildlife and our amazing parks: an Ultimate Safari at the Safari Park and an Exclusive VIP Experience at the Zoo! You can customize your visit to see and take part in all the adventures you’re most interested in as our team of professionals creates a perfect day to suit your needs. Our Ultimate Safaris and Exclusive VIP Experiences are the key to off-exhibit areas, animal interactions, and the very best in personalized service.

CALL 6197183000 TO TALK TO OUR TEAM AND MAKE YOUR RESERVATIONS! Reservations must be made at least 72 hours in advance. Some restrictions apply.




MAY 2014



You’ve heard about it (ears flicking back and forth). You’ve anticipated it (whiskers forward). You’ve looked for it (golden eyes intently focused). And now it’s here! The Tull Family Tiger Trail opens to the public on May 24, 2014, at the Safari Park.


ive years in the making, this beautiful, new experience parts the bamboo for a look inside the Sumatran tiger’s world, immersing you in the habitat and habitation found in this cat’s native land. You’ll discover the tiger’s power as a top predator, uncover the secrets of how this solitary cat lives, and see why such a mighty species is endangered, as well as how to help the tiger continue to prowl the forests and grasslands of its Asian realm. The journey begins at the path just past Thorntree Terrace in Nairobi Village. Wend your way to the Tiger Trail entrance— Panthera tigris sumatrae is waiting! The sweeping curves, decorative spires, and weathered wood of a magnificent gate announce entrance into the land of the tiger. Ahead, a stylized tiger sculpture beckons visitors onto the trail. Around the curve is the Log Walk, a series of logs to maneuver across with netting to hold onto (those who don’t want to try it can pass it by). Negotiating the logs brings you up to a viewing platform with glass windows and a close view of the tigers. At the end of the Log Walk there’s a fork in the road— heading left goes to a simulated Logging Camp,

Left: Male Sumatran tiger Teddy is one of the Safari Park’s six cats now living at Tiger Trail.




Above: Tiger Trail features include mature trees, lush landscaping, and a waterfall that spills into a pool for the tigers below. Right: Delta with one of her cubs when they were younger.

which displays representative equipment and a tent loggers have left behind, as well as the log sled and track they use to move trees. A female tiger is wandering through here as well—a statue of one, anyway, and she has hidden her cubs in a den nearby. Upon coming back out of the Logging Camp and heading left, a wooden stand comes into view just off the trail. The Pondok, a hut-like structure, displays representations of some of the wildlife items found in Asian markets. This is a place to stop and consider the pressures tigers and other Asian wildlife face in their struggle to survive, and a guide greets you to talk about tiger conservation and what we can all do to make a difference. Another reason to stop here is an extraordinary one: the big glass wall that looks into the tiger pool and provides underwater viewing if the tigers are swimming. That’s a sight few people have experienced! After leaving the Pondok, the trail leads to a wooden bridge crossing a stream—and now you’re surrounded by tigers. Large tiger habitats stretch to the left and right, and you can watch them prowling around their territory, splashing in the stream, resting in the sun, scratching deadwood trees, and, more than likely, watching the humans. Farther up the gently sloping trail is the sound of water rushing, and rounding the bend, you walk through the cool spray and mist behind a cascading waterfall, with



MAY 2014

where the cats will love to lounge. You might be so close you can count their whiskers and the stripes on their tail. The view from the Sambutan Longhouse and the trail beyond looks out over the third section of tiger habitat, with a terraced landscape representing former rice paddies that have now been reclaimed by nature and the tigers. Tiger paw prints in the dried path show where they have been stalking. An old stick-and-cloth scarecrow stands in the field, and an abandoned rice shrine marks where villagers once made offerings for a good harvest. The Sumbutan Longhouse is designed in the tradition of Indonesian gathering At this point, the trail proceeds a few more yards places for families and the community and is at the heart of Tiger Trail. to end at an overlook with spectacular, sweeping views of the Safari Park’s Asian Plains field exhibits, includa spectacular view of the tigers below in the streamside habitat. ing sightings of Indian gaur, axis deer, Przewalski’s horses, and the At the base of the incline another surprise awaits: the Tiger hills beyond. Upon turning back, you have the option to revisit Tiger Training Wall. Here, at specified times of the day, a keeper can call Trail to look for more tigers and spend more time exploring or folone of the tigers over to a large, open-mesh wall to work on animallow the directional signs that lead onward to Condor Ridge for yet care behaviors while you watch, just feet away, able to see and hear another animal adventure. the tiger up close. Using positive reinforcement such as giving the Tiger Trail is not only the Safari Park’s newest experience but cat treats, the keeper can ask the tiger to raise up and put its paws on also a new dimension, providing an amazing look into the world of the mesh, open its mouth wide, jump down and turn sideways, and the Sumatran tiger and opening up the gateway to the Park’s Asian a variety of other behaviors that allow our staff to maintain the cats’ species. Our Sumatran tigers—males Conrad, Thomas, and Teddy, health. And you are right there to experience it with them! and females Delta, Joanne, and Majel—are beautiful cats and imporPast the Training Wall is a magnificent building, the open-sided tant ambassadors for their species, and they are waiting to welcome Sambutan Longhouse. In Indonesia, the longhouse is a community you to their extraordinary new home. Come prowl with them this gathering place or a home for several families within a village. The summer. Sambutan Longhouse is reminiscent of the rumah adat architectural style, with the distinctive, sharply inclined roof designed to protect Explore Tiger Trail against heavy rains in the hot and wet monsoon climate. You can Download the ZOONOOZ digital edition linger here in the shade and watch the tigers—perhaps face to face, for iPad. since there are heated rocks just on the other side of the glass windows

F´´ling th´ Tiger Pow´r? Play the Tiger Trail Game! Take your love of tigers online and challenge yourself—can you get your tiger through the perils faced in the wild to make it safely to a protected reserve? The San Diego Zoo Safari Park Tiger Trail game is a fast-paced challenge with three levels of increasing difficulty that you can play on a desktop computer or mobile device. Find it on our website at and see if you have what it takes to save your tiger!

r e g Ti




MAY 2014

By Wendy Perkins STAFF WRITER



ith their confident swagger and intense, steady gaze, tigers catch and hold our attention. Revered—and feared—by humans for thousands of years, tigers possess characteristics people desire: strength, skill, and singular focus. People have loved tigers for centuries, yet today the big cat’s numbers are frighteningly low. Have we pushed them to the brink of extinction? Yes. Can we read between the stripes to understand what we need to do to keep them on the planet? Yes! Since ancient times, many Asian cultures have viewed tigers as the king of the jungle (sorry, lions, your regal realm is the savanna). In Chinese, the word for king, wang, is represented by a character made up of three horizontal lines. Look at a tiger’s head, and you’ll see three horizontal lines on its forehead. It “wears” the markings of a king.

Opposite: Long in the tooth: A tiger’s canine teeth—the largest of any big cat species—can be 2.5 to 3 inches in length. Top: Rambunctious play builds cubs’ hunting skills and muscles. Above: A top predator, a tiger on the prowl is the essence of cool, calm concentration. Right: Large pupils and a high concentration of rods (lightsensitive receptors) in a tiger’s eyes give these cats an advantage for hunting at night. SAN DIEGO ZOO GLOBAL



Strong hindquarters combined with brawny forelimbs and claws are key to the tiger’s pounce-and-tackle attack strategy.

The beauty of a tiger can be overwhelming at first; mesmerized by the whole, one’s heart beats a little faster. Seeing a tiger up close—or even just watching one from a safe distance for a long spell—gives our brain the chance to take it all in and begin to see what gives this cat its bona fides as a top predator. Forward-facing eyes give a tiger 3-D binocular vision for an accurate look before the leap when hunting. A tiger typically crouches and slowly moves toward a deer, boar, or other prey. Patience and persistence seem to be the name of the game for a stalking tiger. The closer it can get to its intended meal, the better. And then, the pounce! In an explosion of energy, the tiger springs toward its prey. When (and if) contact is made, the brawny cat uses its sharp claws, broad paws, and body weight to bring the animal down. The tiger quickly positions for the fatal bite to the neck. Small animals are bitten on the back of the neck, while larger prey, such as buffalo, are grabbed by the throat. What happens next determines if the tiger eats that day or not. Naturally, a tiger’s prey fights for its life. During this struggle, the tiger must bite the right spot with enough force to sever the spinal cord in smaller prey or crush the trachea of larger animals. It takes nerves—and not just the kind we think of when we talk of bravery. Tigers have the largest canines of all the big cats, and those teeth are more than just sharp tools. Packed with sensitive nerves, the tiger can feel if its tooth is positioned in the space between neck vertebrae or on top of the bone. If it’s the latter, the cat must adjust and bite the right spot, all while trying to subdue struggling prey. The strength and power of a tiger is legendary. An anecdote vil-



MAY 2014

lagers often share is seeing a tiger take down a 1,500-pound gaur (a type of Asian wild cattle). A group of 15 men tried to move the dead animal, but couldn’t. After they gave up, the tiger returned and dragged the carcass into the forest. It’s this astonishing vigor that people have yearned for. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has long used tiger body parts in the belief that they can treat various illnesses, even though there is no scientifically proven medicinal value. Still, for some of the world’s population, tiger-bone wine is given as a supposed gift of vitality for the upcoming year. With populations of tigers plummeting everywhere they are still found, these practices are not sustainable. However, there are glimmers of hope. In 1993, tiger bone was removed from the TCM pharmacopeia, and leaders in traditional medicine urged practitioners to find alternatives. In 2003, Kew Gardens and Middlesex University, both in England, worked with TCM professionals to find plants that could be used in place of tiger bone. Using chemical analysis of both tiger bone and various flora, they were able to develop a list of alternatives from the Botanical Kingdom that contained similar organic elements. Changing traditions, however, can take time—something tiger populations don’t have. Throughout their remaining range, tigers are protected by law, and there is a worldwide ban on the trade of tiger body parts, yet poaching remains a serious and persistent problem. Patrols apprehend and charge both poachers and purveyors of tigers throughout Asia, but as court cases stagnate, illegal hunting continues to chip away at the dwindling tiger populations. From India to China, Siberia to Sumatra, each tiger range country has created preserves for tigers and the wildlife that share their habitat. However, as the human population in these areas grows and spreads to the edges of “tiger country,” a serious challenge arises. Can tigers and humans coexist? If so, what does that look like? One way to understand the situation is to look in our own backyard; how do we handle growing mountain lion populations and the spread of human habitation in the US? The key is education and understanding, as well as finding ways that humans and wildlife can share the space. There are tigers still found outside of protected areas. In unprotected parts of their range, they are seriously affected by habitat loss and fragmentation due to logging and the creation of palm oil plantations. How can you help these cats hold onto habitat? Pay attention to what you buy: look for food products that contain only sustainably farmed palm oil (or none at all), and check for wood products labeled as sustainably harvested. Community conservation programs and educational campaigns are two effective tools being used to keep tigers from being chased over the edge of extinction. Perhaps by channeling our own “tiger power”—carefully stalking what we buy and pouncing on opportunities to support conservation efforts—we can keep the kings of the forest prowling into the future.

Watch video of the tiger’s characteristics. Download the ZOONOOZ digital edition for your iPad.



/…iÊ->˜Ê ˆi}œÊ<œœÊEÊ->˜Ê ˆi}œÊ<œœÊ->v>ÀˆÊ*>ÀŽÊ>ÀiÊ«>À̘iÀˆ˜}Ê܈̅

 /Ê 8 1-6 Ê"/ Ê,/ -

1*Ê/"Ê{ä¯Ê"t ­ÌÊ«>À̈Vˆ«>̈˜}ʅœÌiÃ®





Allof Types By Peggy Scott ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Photos by Ken Bohn


Meet the Safari Park’s Tigers



Tiger Guys

eisty and destructive, quiet and brooding, dramatic and social: the Safari Park’s Sumatran tigers run the gamut of big-cat character. The individual felids possess their own physical characteristics and personalities. “Even if the

Teddy, our 10-year-old male, is the poster boy for male tiger handsomeness. The largest tiger at the Park, Teddy enjoys his own exclusive exhibit area, simulating the solitary nature of tigers in the wild, and he finds plenty to keep himself occupied and engaged. “He is a destructive decorator and loves to make confetti out of the cardboard boxes he receives back in his bedroom. He loves to destroy things,” says Lori Gallo, a senior keeper at the Park and primary tiger keeper. And far from the strong,

Teddy Left: Conrad and his brother, Thomas (pictured right), have lived at the Safari Park since their birth on March 5, 2012. Above: Teddy may be a suitable future mate for Majel or Joanne.


tigers didn’t have differences we can see, we could tell one from the other by their behavior,” says Janet Lawhon, a lead keeper at the Safari Park. “And we see all sorts of behaviors.” If you aren’t able to see the cats



MAY 2014

often enough to tell them apart from their actions, however, you can still spot them the same way researchers identify tigers in the wild: every tiger has its own unique pattern of markings and stripes. And with the opening of the Tull Family Tiger Trail at the Safari Park, you can expect a closer-thanever tiger-viewing experience to put those observation skills to work. Use the following tips—physical clues and distinct habits—to determine which cool cat is which during a visit to Tiger Trail.





tackles the Weeble toy,” Lori says. Even if Thomas is taking a break and holding his tongue, visitors can still identify him: there is a black R-shaped marking at the base of his tail, and a sideways “K” on top of his head.

They Are “Women,” Hear Them Roar

Sixteen-year-old Delta is the grande dame of the Park’s tigers. The lovely tigress can be identified by her beauty mark: a dark spot under her left eye. “It is not an injury and causes her no discomfort,” Lori says. Delta is mother to all four of our young tigers (their father is our dearly departed Utan) and is the epitome of tigress complexity, a combination of sugar and spice. “She can be very feisty but is also our most cooperative tiger during injections or other husbandry procedures,” Lori says. “She’s a fiercely protective mother and takes really good care of her kids but is very trusting of keepers when we handle her cubs. She knows we won’t harm her babies.” While her male counterparts seem to find fun in objects, Delta thinks outside the box—unless there’s something inside the box. “She has no interest in the cardboard

Majel Above: Majel and her sister, Joanne (pictured on next page), were born at the Safari Park on October 5, 2010. Right: Sixteen-yearold Delta is the mother of all the Park’s tiger cubs.

silent type, Teddy is usually in fine voice. “He has a distinctive chuff,” Janet says. “You know it’s him.” Conrad, one of our two-year-old males, seems to believe actions speak louder than “words.” “He is a true tiger,” Lori says. “He takes after his mom, Delta. He’s quiet and brooding but can be very affectionate with his keepers when he wants to be, rubbing against the mesh when he sees us and chuffing to us; and then he’s all action.” The object of much of Conrad’s attention is his Weeble-like toy, a big figure that pops back up after being knocked down. “It’s like one of those punching clowns, but sturdy enough for a carnivore,” Janet explains. “He gets the satisfaction of wrestling with something.” If you happen to catch Conrad during one of his quiet moments, just look at his telltale tail. “He has thicker black bands on his tail,” Lori says. With Thomas, Conrad’s littermate, your first clue can be heard rather than seen. “Thomas is more even-keeled and patient than Conrad, but he is also very vocal—the most vocal tiger of all of them,” Janet says. “These boys have been different from the moment we first had them.” Thomas is less energetic than Conrad but has his moments. “He loves to tackle his brother, Conrad, who, in turn,



MAY 2014


for scents makes sense. “Tigers are forest animals and use scent markings to communicate with other tigers in, or near, their territory.” Three-year-old Joanne is a relaxed, thoughtful girl, but there is still a spirited tigress under that relaxed exterior. “She is smaller than her littermate, Majel, but she is in charge,” Janet says. “She is the dominant one, even though her sister has 20 pounds on her.” If diminutive Joanne isn’t throwing her weight around, you can still “spot” her: there are dots between her stripes and the markings on her head are distinctive—and then some. “We call her ‘Joanne of Arch’ because that’s the shape the stripes on her head form,” Lori explains. Speaking of shape, Majel’s figure is a bit fuller than her sister’s. “She’s just a larger girl,” Lori explains. And if Majel’s body is bigger, so is her personality. “Majel has quite the flair for the dramatic,” Janet says. Lori agrees, noting, “She can be a drama queen.” Majel is the first one to greet keepers in the morning, and when she’s affectionate, she’s super affectionate, the keepers note. But Lori adds that Majel is also “more sensitive to change, and really prefers things going her way—but who doesn’t?” Like her sister, Majel has distinctive markings. “We talk about the ‘Straights of Majellan’ because of the straight lines on her head,” Lori says. Even if the girls aren’t around, keepers can still tell them apart, and that process may have led to Joanne’s status as dominant female. “We keep track of everything,” Lori says, “including poop. So to tell their droppings apart, we put rice in Majel’s food and glitter [nontoxic, of course] in Joanne’s,” Janet says. “Who wouldn’t think they were important if they pooped glitter?”

Joanne Joanne is smaller than Majel, but she is the dominant sister.

boxes we decorate for enrichment, unless they hold treats. Those she likes,” Janet says. “And some smells really interest her—peppermint essential oil is her favorite enrichment.” Joanne apparently inherited her mother’s fondness for certain smells. “She loves men’s colognes,” Lori says, noting that a tiger’s love

Watch video of the cats in action in the ZOONOOZ digital edition for iPad.

STRIPE YOURSELF! Every tiger has its own pattern of stripes—and now you can, too. To celebrate the opening of Tiger Trail, the Safari Park has a new app you can use to turn yourself into a tiger. Go to from a desktop or mobile device, take or upload a photo of yourself, then choose from a menu of backgrounds, foregrounds, and various tiger features that you simply place on your photo to transform your image. Once you’re happy with your Stripe Yourself creation, upload it to the gallery and share it on social media to show the world your tiger power!





Through Time



MAY 2014

Explore the evolution of the tiger. Download the ZOONOOZ digital edition for iPad!

By Karyl Carmignani STAFF WRITER


There is no off switch on a tiger.


ith their sleek, muscled bodies, claws on every paw, and a mouthful of dagger-sharp teeth, cats of all persuasions are deft at bringing down prey and defending themselves. From the pint-sized fur ball purring on your lap to the fleetof-foot cheetah chasing down her supper to the stealthy and mighty tiger, all species of the modern Felidae family diverged from a common panther-like predator in Asia more than 11 million years ago. A few million years later, the lineage split into two subfamilies: Felinae, the small and medium-sized wild cats, including the cougar and cheetah, and the larger cats of the Pantherinae subfamily, including the lion, jaguar, leopard, and tiger. These mighty hunters radiated out across the land around 3.7 million years ago, diverging along the way and leading to the present-day Panthera genus. The earliest tiger fossils, discovered in northern China and Java, Indonesia, date back about two million years. In the last 100 years, we have lost 97 percent of wild tigers. Before these iconic cats become but a dusty memory, it is imperative we learn all we can about them to better manage and conserve them.

Time in a Bottle

It can be difficult for humans to grasp vast spans of time like â&#x20AC;&#x153;millions of years,â&#x20AC;? given our puny (in evolutionary terms) life spans that rarely exceed 100 years. But ecological pressures and opportunities can exact great change over gigantic slabs of time. Much of the origin and evolution of tigers (or anything else, for that matter) relies on fossil evidence and educated conjecture among paleontologists, anthropologists,


Tigers of all types are strong and stealthy hunters. At left: Bengal tiger; top right: Amur tiger; bottom right: South China tiger.

~German proverb


morphologists, and geneticists. There are missing pieces, but with each passing year and technological advance, more insight and a deeper understanding of ancestry, lineages, and radiation are added to the scientific tome. Tigers were once widespread across Asia, from Turkey in the west to the eastern coast of Russia and as far south as the Indonesian islands of Bali and Sumatra. Hunting prowess and a flexible Top left: A Sumatran tiger female is play-chased by her nearly meat-based diet enabled them to fill varied niches. But according to grown cubs. Bottom left: The intense gaze of this Malayan tiger misses very little in its environment. Top right: All tiger some scientists, the disastrous volcanic eruption of Toba in Sumatra subspecies, including this Indochinese tiger, are endangered. about 73,500 years ago led to a volcanic winter that persisted for several years, followed by a thousand years of a cold, dry climate. It is thought that the cataclysmically cooled climate contributed to a massive reduction in the range of tigers. In more recent times, tigers have sufAMUR CASPIAN fered mightily at the hands of humans. In the past century alone, the tiger has lost more than 93 percent of its historical INDOCHINESE range, and 3 tiger subspecies (Bali, Javan, SOUTH and Caspian) are now extinct. Today, CHINA the 6 remaining subspecies hang on by a whisker in scattered, isolated populations in 13 countries. (The South China subspeBENGAL cies is thought to be extinct in the wild, and there are fewer than 80 individuals MALAYAN remaining in captivity.) SUMATRAN HISTORICAL POPULATIONS CURRENT POPULATIONS



MAY 2014

Sizing Them Up

Powerful and burly, tigers are arguably the largest and strongest of the big cats. They can take down prey five times their own weight. With no need for assistance

from pack members, these solitary hunters rely on the element of surprise and a burst of speed to capture their next meal. There is some size variation among the six tiger subspecies, but it follows more of a gradient rather than abrupt differences. Tigers from southern latitudes, like Sumatra and other Indonesian islands where it’s warmer, tend to be smaller than their northern brethren. Adult males in tropical areas average 8 feet in length, while males from northern climes can reach nearly 11 feet in length. Amur (formerly known as Siberian) tigers from the Russian Far East have long been thought to be the largest subspecies, but recent measurements indicate they are, on average, neck and neck with the Bengal tigers of India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Bhutan. Female tigers of all subspecies are about 20 percent smaller and lighter than the males, and studies show their prey is also somewhat smaller than what the males take.

Panthera and People

The tiger is highly esteemed, admired, and often feared. Seeing one of these striped creatures close up as it rears on its haunches and lets out a roar can leave one shaken and deeply moved. Tigers can slink past silently—their striped, orange coat helps them sink seamlessly into the forest. In 1973, the first radio-tracking study of tigers occurred in Chitwan National Park, Nepal. A researcher from the Smithsonian Tiger Ecology Project later recalled how he “watched and listened in horror as more than 100 people walked down a trail, practically within touching distance of a radio-collared tiger feeding on a kill.” This was not an uncommon occurrence. Tigers have learned to live within striking distance of humans, and even though we would be easy prey for them, tigers typically do not include humans on their menu, plentiful though we may be. The big cats that have eaten humans were found to be old or injured and unfit to bring down their usual fare; in India, tigers kill 40 to 60 people each year. Tigers are ambush hunters, with only about 1 in 10 hunts resulting in a meal. If a human looks at a tiger, it is supposedly less apt to attack as it has lost the element of surprise. Hence, in some areas of India, people wear a mask of a face on the back of their head while working in the forest to “fool” tigers and prevent them from pouncing from behind.

Habits and Habitat

Big cats require big meals. Research indicates a strong correlation between the abundance of large ungulates and tiger densities. Prey availability determines carnivore territory size, energy expenditures, the density of breeding females, the number of “transients,” and the survival of cubs and juveniles. Tigers can go several days without eating, and then they gorge themselves. Due to their robust size, however, they can starve to death in a mere 2 to 3 weeks, while humans can stay alive without food for 30 to 40 days. Tigers are apex predators across their wide range of habitats, which includes tropical rain forests, evergreen forests, mangrove swamps, grasslands, savannas, and temperate forests. They need dense vegetation, access to water, and large ungulates to survive. Poaching and habitat loss remain the largest threats to all tigers, and humans hold the key to correct both hazards. Will humans evolve in our thinking and behavior rapidly enough to save them?



ild populations of Sumatran tigers are at an all-time low in numbers, largely due to an all-time high rate of poaching. Eighty percent of Sumatran tiger deaths are attributed to poaching for their bones, which, like rhino horn, are used in traditional Asian folk remedies. With collaboration and cooperation, effective conservation and protection of the remaining tigers can be achieved through intensive management of core habitat zones in Sumatra, Indonesia. Way Kambas National Park in Sumatra is one of the three strongholds remaining for tigers and is also home to Sumatran elephants and rhinos and Malayan tapirs and sun bears, making this area a top priority for collaborative conservation action. San Diego Zoo Global has long supported the International Rhino Foundation (IRF), and its “boots on the ground” conservation work includes five Rhino Protection Units in Way Kambas. This organization has been protecting Sumatra’s endangered megafauna since 2001. Rangers patrol the reserve, dismantling snares and keeping poachers at bay. These efforts have paid off, with no evidence of poaching in the core area of the park for seven years, allowing tiger and rhino populations to stabilize. To better understand the local wildlife and document the size, distribution, and demographics of populations, camera trapping and other state-of-theart ecological monitoring methods will be added to the conservation arsenal. We will assist in helping train Indonesian researchers and park personnel for science-based tiger conservation efforts and provide achievable recommendations based on ecological findings. We are proud to work with such a committed organization as IRF toward a shared goal of preventing extinction.





whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in store



Visit our stores at the Zoo and Safari Park to purchase these featured items.


Available in select stores. Limited quantities available.

1. Sumatran Arm Bands $175 each, 2. Sumatran Wedding Crown $495, 3. Sumatran Hair Comb $145-$165, 4. Sumatran Wedding Crown $485.99, 5. Exclusive Tiger Crew Neck T-Shirt $19.95-$21.95, 6. Exclusive Tiger Baseball Cap $24.95 each




4. 24


MAY 2014

FREE CUP OF COFFEE Members receive a free cup of brewed coffee with the purchase of a souvenir coffee mug at participating restaurant locations at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park.

Offer valid May 1–31, 2014. While supplies last. Does not apply to specialty coffees. Not valid with any other offer or discount. Show valid San Diego Zoo Global membership card at time of purchase.

JUNE 2014 MAY 1–AUGUST 29, 2014

SAVE $10 PER PERSON ON BACKSTAGE PASS Enjoy amazing encounters with our animal ambassadors and their trainers at the San Diego Zoo. You’ll experience many up-close opportunities with some unbelievable critters! Call 619-718-3000 to confirm space now. Provide membership number and promotion CODE 212049 at time of reservation.

10% OFF ALL HATS Members take 10% off all hats in June! Valid in all San Diego Zoo and Safari Park gift shops. No limit while supplies last.

Offer valid June 1–30, 2014. Not valid with any other offer or discount. Show valid San Diego Zoo Global membership card at time of purchase.

Offer valid May 1–August 29, 2014. (Exception: Discount not available May 24–26, 2014.)

Space is limited. Prices, hours, and schedules are subject to change without notice. San Diego Zoo admission is not included. Not valid for prior reservations. Not valid in conjunction with any other offer or discount. Offer valid only through advance phone reservations: 619-718-3000. Customer must provide membership number and promotion code 212049 at time of booking. Limit 4 per membership number. Other restrictions may apply.

JULY 2014

SPECIAL PRICE ON NAME BRACELETS Buy two personalized leather bracelets for just $16. Regular retail is $9.95 each. Valid at Mercado gift shop at the San Diego Zoo and Village Market gift shop at the Safari Park.

Offer valid July 1–31, 2014. Not valid with any other offer or discount. Show valid San Diego Zoo Global membership card at time of purchase.

MAY 1–AUGUST 31, 2014


San Diego Zoo Global members will receive this exclusive license plate frame when they register for I___for Wildlife! It’s easy: pick an activity, register online, and share your challenge with everyone!

Offer valid May 1–August 31, 2014. Limit one license plate frame per registrant while supplies last. For more information, visit or call 619-557-3914. No purchase necessary. Members must register for I___for Wildlife to receive their license plate frame.

Start your I___for Wildlife challenge today and turn your passion into action!


PANDAS! PANDAS! PANDAS! For the best selection of panda products anywhere, visit the Panda Shop at the San Diego Zoo! Plush pandas, T-shirts, hats, kites, books, crafts, jewelry, and more—there is something for every panda lover!


MAY 2014



Virginia Anderson with a photo album of some of her favorite animal friends.

Looking Back and Looking Forward with Virginia Anderson By Mary Sekulovich SENIOR EDITOR, DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT




MAY 2014


ai Yun and Hua Mei, Chester, Ivan, Xander, Majani and Clifford, Norman, and Elvis—these are just a few of the animal names that longtime San Diego Zoo Global member Virginia Anderson loves to remember as she points them out in her amazing photo album. With her strong connections to the Zoo and deep love of wildlife, Virginia decided to include us in her estate plans. Her knowledge of Zoo history comes from living it: a native San Diegan, Virginia has been coming to visit the animals since she was a little girl, and her love for the Zoo has just grown stronger over the years. In fact, Virginia follows all the news about giant panda Bai Yun’s offspring who have returned to China and are now mothers: she’s made several trips to Wolong to see Hua Mei and Su Lin! Other favorites are elephants, primates, meerkats, otters, penguins, and big cats, which are more reasons why Virginia has supported the San Diego Zoo Food & Wine Celebration (formerly Celebration for the Critters) from its beginnings in the early 1980s. She also enjoys the camaraderie with friends in Ocelots, a community group that helps provide grants toward our mission, as well as all the member events at the Zoo and Safari Park. “As a 23-year cancer sur-

For more information about including San Diego Zoo Global in your will or estate plan, please contact our Development department at 619-744-3352 or visit

All-new Planned Giving Website: Visit to find a wealth of estate planning ideas including: How to receive a secure source of fixed income now or in the future. How to plan your will. How other donors have made an impact through their estate gifts. The latest charitable gift news from Washington, D.C. Please visit our new website to learn how you can ensure that the San Diego Zoo continues to make a difference for our precious wildlife and future generations.

Hua Mei, the first giant panda cub born at the Zoo, in 1999.

vivor, this type of relaxation brings me great joy. Being here and seeing animals enjoying their surroundings is therapeutic and helps to transport me to a more peaceful place.” Virginia is now looking forward to retirement—she is a nurse at Naval Hospital in the neurosciences department, which encompasses neurology, neurosurgery, physical medicine, and the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center. Her dream job as a Zoo volunteer would be as a “panda cuddler!” The Zoo is definitely Virginia’s “home away from home.” She has loved watching the panda cubs grow up and has made friends with many Zoo employees along the way. Virginia sums it up best when asked why she wants to financially support the Zoo: “I’ve had some of my best times here!”

You can help secure the future for wildlife!

Heritage Guild

SATURDAY, JUNE 21, 2014 6:30 p.m. until midnight Honorary Chairs Audrey S. Geisel and Ernest Rady Gala Chairs Lisette and Michael “Mick” Farrell Tickets $450 per guest $900 per guest for R• I •T•Z Circle seating. For tickets, please contact Marilyn Neumann, R• I •T•Z reservation chair, at 619-287-5435 or R•I•T•Z 2014 Challenge For every dollar donated, our honorary chairs will match it 2½ times for animals from the savanna and cliff areas of Africa Rocks.

By creating a Charitable Gift Annuity or including the Zoological Society of San Diego in your will or trust, you can help protect wildlife. To receive more information, please call 619-744-3352 or visit our website at




from the archives

The Return of the Unicorn Viewed in profile, the two horns of an Arabian oryx look like one, giving this antelope the look of a unicorn—

indeed, some think it might be the “unicorn” mentioned in ancient texts. The creamy white antelope with long, ridged horns once roamed most of Arabia and the Sinai Peninsula, but by the 1960s, it had been hunted to the edge of extinction. In 1962, a major international effort began to breed Arabian oryx in managed-care facilities. San Diego Zoo Global became a significant partner in the project in 1972, when six animals came to the Safari Park. They thrived, and soon the Park was home to an entire herd of oryx. A tremendous milestone was achieved in 1978, when the once nearly extinct species returned to its desert homeland in the Middle East. Four of the Park’s male oryx (one is seen in this picture in a pre-release paddock) were shipped to Oman and introduced to their native range—the first of their kind to return. Today, more than 370 Arabian oryx have been born at the Safari Park, and 73 of those have been moved to Jordan, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. A fantastic tale, indeed!



MAY 2014

Susan Potthoff Health Net

Participate in Your Health and Wellness Empowering you to make better-informed health decisions Health Net is pleased to sponsor the Safari Park Half Marathon and 10K. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in the race to help our communities stay healthy.

Health Net is a registered service mark of Health Net, Inc. Š 2014 Health Net of California, Inc. All rights reserved.




Box 120551, San Diego, California 92112

Look for your Member Coupons on page 25!

Nighttime Zoo Members-only Preview with Joan Embery

Be the first to experience all the fun and excitement of this year’s Nighttime Zoo! Have a great time with our Australian Outback entertainment, including music, animal ambassador presentations, and our costumed characters. Enjoy a 20-percent discount on food entrées purchased with a beverage, including dining at Albert’s Restaurant and all Kid’s Meals, from 4 to 9 p.m. on June 27 only (excludes food carts and alcoholic beverages). Join Joan Embery in Hunte Amphitheater at 6:30 p.m. for a special performance of our Land Down Under show. A lucky guest will win the opportunity to have his or her photo taken with Joan! This preview is a one-night, members-only event. Seating is limited, so make your plans to be there for all the fun!

Friday, June 27, 2014 Activities begin at 2 p.m.

ZOONOOZ May 2014  

Time to Prowl Tiger Trail

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you