For any wildlife enthusiast in Sydney, Taronga Zoo is the easiest way out with assured returns 😛 I had been to Taronga many a time in the past – but this time I couldn’t resist myself for a new addition to the zoo – Tigers!
My luck of seeing big cats in the wild has been incredibly poor, having seen only one leopard many years back in Bandipur, Karnataka and returning empty handed even after touring some of the most popular tiger national parks back home (read Jim Corbett, Pench, Masinagudi, Sariska et al). So when I read that Taronga was finally bringing tigers back from Dubbo, I had to pick up my DSLR and go ‘shoot’ some tigers.
The four tigers in Taronga are all Sumatran tigers – a mother and her three cubs, all bred in captivity in Australia . Which is a strong step ahead in conserving these fantastic beasts. Because back in Sumatra, the species is critically endangered, with a speculative count of less than 400 left in the wild. And because the Sumatran tiger is sadly, the last of the Indonesian tigers left – we have made the Bali tiger and the Javan tiger extinct in the last century ! Incessant poaching, destruction of precious forests to make way for palm oil cultivation and logging have today catalyzed our rampage of the rainforests in Indonesia, reducing the chances of survival of not just the tiger, but other faunal species as the Sumatran rhino and the Sumatran elephant. The Indonesian and ASEAN governments are doing their bits, but it was refreshing to see the kind of support and awareness that was being created far away in this different land.
Here’s some of my favorite shots from the day, thank you Taronga!
Other critters in the zoo: