Phoenix Zoo welcomes new Sumatran tiger

- The Phoenix Zoo allowed for a sneak peak of the latest feline to call the zoo home.

Jai is an 11-year-old Sumatran male tiger exploring his new habitat at the Phoenix Zoo.

"It's a new home, so they have to become acclimated just like when you move into a new home," said a spokesperson for the zoo.

12-year-old Suriya is also a Sumatran tiger; she arrived at the zoo in the Spring.

"They just need to figure out where all the doors are just like we do," said the spokesperson.

Both tigers are getting acclimated to the brand new environment. Zoo workers say the new exhibit will give guests a chance to have a face-to-face encounter.

"They can pretty much be face to face with a tiger, with just a pane of glass between them, so it's really immersive, and it connects visitors,"  said the spokesperson.

The new exhibit is called "Isle Of the Tiger", and it gives animals nearly 20,000 square feet of living space, it even includes benches for the big cats to keep watch.

"The advantages the tigers have is to be above people. Cats actually prefer to be above people, they're more comfortable in this sort of situation, and hopefully they'll be more visible. The advantage to visitors is they can see both cats at the same time whereas at the other exhibit we had to rotate," said the spokesperson.

The exhibit is part of a greater mission. The hope is the two will one day have little Sumatran tiger cubs to help the species to survive.

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