Sacramento Zoo Announces Death of Sumatran Tiger

WHAT’S HAPPENING: The Sacramento Zoo is saddened to announce the death of Baha, a female Sumatran Tiger due to complications from trauma.

WHERE: Sacramento Zoo, at the corner of Land Park Dr. and Sutterville Rd. in William Land Park.

WHEN: Baha passed away the morning of Wednesday, February 10, 2016.

CONTACT: Tonja Candelaria, 209.298.8303 or tcandelaria@saczoo.org.

Sumatran Tiger - Baha

UPDATE: FAQ's about the incident are answered here.

Baha, a 15-year-old female Sumatran Tiger, died on Wednesday morning due to trauma received from a male tiger. The Zoo’s male tiger, Mohan, became aggressive with Baha during a physical introduction on the morning of February 10. Staff, who had been monitoring the introduction from the outside of the enclosure, quickly sprang into action to separate the two tigers. As soon as staff were able to get the male tiger into a secure location veterinarians rushed to care for Baha, but unfortunately she had already passed, veterinary staff tried to resuscitate her but were unsuccessful. Baha has been at the Sacramento Zoo since 2002 and has five living offspring from three previous successful breeding introductions that are at other Association of Zoo and Aquarium (AZA) accredited zoos.

“We are truly devastated at the passing of Baha” said Matt McKim, Animal Collection Director. “Not only was she a wonderful ambassador and a truly attentive mother, she was also a one-of-a-kind tiger that inspired many.”

The tiger introduction was planned through the Species Survival Plan® (SSP), an AZA program that cooperatively manages specific populations with the goal of sustaining healthy, genetically diverse, and demographically varied species well into the future. Since the arrival of the male tiger in December 2015, staff had been monitoring his and Baha’s behavior daily as they had visual contact with each other. Both tigers’ behavior indicated that this was the proper time for physical introductions. Based on knowledge and experience from past successful introductions, staff decided to physically introduce the tigers on Wednesday morning. The Sacramento Zoo has successfully housed and introduced tigers since the 1960’s, including Baha and her previous mate, Castro.

In the past century, four of nine tiger subspecies have gone extinct in their natural habitats.  Fewer than 500 Sumatran Tigers are believed to exist in the wild and approximately 200 live in zoos around the world. The Zoo participates in the Sumatran Tiger Species Survival Plan® (SSP), coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. SSPs are cooperative breeding and conservation programs designed to maintain genetically viable populations of animals in captivity, and to organize zoo and aquarium-based efforts to preserve the species in nature.

Sacramento Zoo - Wildly Inspiring 

Open since 1927, the Sacramento Zoo is home to more than 500 native, rare and endangered animals and is one of more than 200 accredited institutions of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Located near the corner of Land Park Drive and Sutterville Road in William Land Park, the Zoo is wholly managed by the non-profit Sacramento Zoological Society. This Sacramento treasure inspires conservation awareness through education and recreation. Daily admission from 9 am to 4 pm with grounds closing at 5 pm. General admission is $11.75; children ages 2-11 are $7.75 and one and under are admitted free.  Parking is free throughout the park or ride Regional Transit bus #6. For information, call 916.808.5888 or visit saczoo.org.

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