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Tiger welcomed at the ABQ BioPark Zoo

Penari is the newest addition to the big cats exhibit.

03/20/2017 - A male Malayan tiger from the Jacksonville Zoo has joined the ABQ BioPark Zoo's tiger exhibit on the Catwalk. 

Since arriving on February 24, Penari - Malayan for dancer - has been in quarantine and adjusting to his new environment while getting acquainted with zoo keepers in preparation of going on public exhibit. As he becomes more comfortable with his surroundings, public viewing hours will increase.  The Zoo, along with Mayor Richard Berry, welcomed Penari at a news conference on March 20.

"The addition of Penari to the BioPark catwalk is exciting," said Mayor Berry. "The passing of Scout last summer left a void and our zoo staff worked hard to bring another tiger to Albuquerque."

The addition of Penari at the Zoo was recommended by the Tiger Species Survival Program (SSP), a program that works to maintain sustainable, genetically diverse tiger populations and raise awareness about the plight of tigers and funding for their conservation. Classified as critically endangered, the Malayan tiger is a subspecies that inhabits the southern and central parts of the Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia

"The staff at the BioPark is excited to have a tiger at the zoo again, and to be able to work with this species of threatened tigers," said Lynn Tupa, ABQ BioPark Zoo manager. 

Penari's move to Albuquerque allows for more breeding space at the Jacksonville Zoo. The BioPark Zoo's tiger exhibit has been vacant since last summer. 

Penari's new home has been renovated thanks to the support of the New Mexico BioPark Society. Half of the cement was removed and replaced with sod and grass seed. More plants will be added once the weather gets warmer. Three platforms were added to allow Penari the opportunity to get up high and see outside of the exhibit. It has been found that giving the animals opportunities to see their surrounding is psychologically better for them than being down low in the exhibits.

Penari was born on May 13, 2011 in West Palm Beach, Fla. He and his two brothers joined the Jacksonville Zoo in 2013. The BioPark Zoo hopes to breed tigers once new exhibits are built in the future. Until then, visitors to the Zoo are sure to enjoy Penari while learning about tiger conservation efforts.

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