The ten-year-old male tiger was transferred to the veterinary department and put under anaesthetic for a thorough look at his eyes, ears, coat, teeth, and overall body condition.
Perth Zoo Veterinarian, Alisa Wallace said, “The hard work began before we even got Jaya onto the table, with six people required to lift the 100 kilogram tiger from the transport vehicle to the vet theatre.”
“Like most tigers, Jaya is a powerful carnivore, so there was no way we could do these checks while he was awake.”
Along with the body and dental check, blood samples were taken, and a specialist Radiologist Vet was in attendance to do an ultrasound on Jaya’s abdomen and heart.
“We try to minimise the number of times we anaesthetise our animals, but it has been four years since Jaya’s last vet visit, so we wanted to ensure we gathered as much information as we could to assess his health,” Alisa said.
“He was born here at Perth Zoo in 2008 and weighed less than seven kilograms at his first weight check, he’s grown up to be a very majestic, big cat.”
Jaya is one of two Sumatran Tigers at Perth Zoo, both of which play an important role as ambassadors for their critically endangered species.
In the wild, tigers face a dramatic population decline of 95% over the last 100 years. Only six of a previous nine subspecies remain, of which Sumatran Tigers are the smallest size.
Threatened by habitat destruction and poaching, there are estimated to be less than 400 Sumatran Tigers left in the wild.
Perth Zoo works closely with Frankfurt Zoological Society to protect tigers and other animals living in Bukit Tigapuluh, Sumatra, with donations to the Zoo helping to support Wildlife Protection Units.
The Zoo also supports a crime analyst position for TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, which strategically fights wildlife crime, and gathers intelligence regarding the sale of big cat body parts and pelts on the black market.
Tigers may be skilled predators, but they remain vulnerable to the actions of humans. Anyone wanting to donate to help Perth Zoo secure a future for these incredible animals can find out more at perthzoo.com.au